Smoke rises above buildings, alongside birds flying over the city.

Smoke rises from bombed buildings in Rafah on Thursday, in the south of the Gaza Strip, in the wake of fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas.

Photo: Getty Images / – AFP

The United States considers it likely that Israel violated international humanitarian law in Gaza without being able to definitively conclude this, and will continue to deliver weapons to this country, according to a State Department report.

The report, eagerly awaited and made public on Friday, indicates that it is reasonable to estimate that Israel has used weapons in a manner inconsistent with international humanitarian law, and therefore American law, but that the United States has not been able to achieve at this point conclusions definitive, due to lack of sufficient information.

Otherwise, the United States would have been forced to stop the delivery of weapons to Israel for its war against Hamas, launched in retaliation for the bloody attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7, and which killed dozens thousands of Palestinian victims.

This report was commissioned by President Joe Biden, who was the subject of pressure from elected Democrats denouncing the use of weapons provided by the Biden administration, who feared seeing the United States become accomplices.

It comes shortly after the US president publicly threatened to suspend the delivery of certain categories of weapons to Israel, including artillery shells, if Israel launched a major offensive in the crowded southern town of Rafah. of Gaza, which he opposes.

This assessment does not, however, call into question the United States’ decision to suspend delivery last week of a shipment of munitions and bombs intended for Israel, for fear that they would be used in the Rafah offensive.

Guarantees

The American president himself had mandated the State Department last February to examine whether the use of weapons by countries engaged in an active conflict and benefiting from American military aid, including Israel, complied with American law.

The nature of the conflict in Gaza makes it difficult to assess or draw conclusions about individual incidentsnotes the report which was transmitted to Congress.

October in cases inconsistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law”,”text”:”Nevertheless, given Israel’s significant dependence on US-made defense articles, it is reasonable to consider that the defense articles (…) have been used by the Israeli security forces since October 7 in cases incompatible with its obligations under international humanitarian law”}}”>Nevertheless, given Israel’s heavy reliance on U.S.-made defense items, it is reasonable to estimate that defense items…have been used by Israeli security forces since the October 7 in cases incompatible with its obligations under international humanitarian lawthe report continues.

However, despite some serious concernscountries receiving American military aid have given guarantees sufficiently credible and reliable to allow the continued supply of weaponsconcludes the report.

In addition to Israel, the report covers six other countries receiving US military aid: Colombia, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and Ukraine.

A senior U.S. official said on condition of anonymity that this did not prejudge future assessments and that the State Department would continue to monitor how U.S. weapons are used on the battlefield.

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The report also states that while the Israeli Defense Forces have knowledge, experience and tools necessary to minimize harm to civilians, The results on the ground, including the high number of civilian casualties, raise important questions about how effectively the Israeli Defense Forces use them.

A second part concerns humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, on the verge of famine after seven months of war.

Here too, the report indicates that if the United States believes that Israel by his actions or inaction contributed to the ongoing humanitarian disaster, they do not conclude that the Israeli authorities deliberately prohibited or restricted the delivery and transportation of this aid.

It is hard to believe that the administration sees what is happening in Gaza without concluding that Israel has violated the terms of use of American weaponsdenounced in a press release Patrick Gaspard, of Center for American Progressa research center.

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