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Key Passages from US Report on Israel: A Damning but Cautiously Equivocal Review | US News

Israel may have violated international law – this is the key finding of a recently released US State Department report. The report criticizes Israel but also maintains a level of cautiousness in its assessment.

Highly anticipated, the report was prepared by the US State Department for Congress to audit the use of US-supplied weapons by other countries. It states that some of Israel’s actions in Gaza have been inconsistent with international humanitarian law.

Despite this criticism, the report also states that Israel has not breached the conditions of its weapons use agreement with the US.

Published as a National Security Memorandum (NSM), these reports are periodic evaluations to ensure that countries receiving US weapons are adhering to the terms of use according to International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Given the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the significant US-supplied weapons used by Israel, this report holds particular significance.

The report highlights that while Israel possesses the tools and knowledge to minimize civilian harm in military operations, there are concerns about the effective implementation of these practices, especially considering the high civilian casualty rates.

Despite ongoing concerns and inquiries with the Israeli government, the US government has not found clear violations of international law that would warrant a breach of the weapons agreement.

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The US government justifies its stance by citing the complexities of the conflict in Gaza, stating that no specific violations of international law have been confirmed. They emphasize the need for stronger investigations and full disclosure of information from the Israeli side.

The report also clarifies that individual incidents do not determine overall compliance with international law, and it does not believe Israel is obstructing the transport or delivery of US humanitarian aid.

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The report’s delayed release raised concerns that it was softened to shield Israel from violating the weapons agreement. Despite this, the report’s findings indicate ongoing challenges and lack of conclusive evidence to label Israel’s actions as clear breaches of international law.

Read more from Sky News:
Netanyahu vows Israel will ‘stand alone’ if it has to
Analysis: Rafah offensive would test limits of West’s support

Recent actions by Israel, such as the closure of aid crossings in Gaza, have rendered some of the report’s assessments obsolete. Aid agencies and critics accuse the White House of intentionally releasing the report late on a Friday to bury unfavorable news, a claim denied by the government.

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