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Blinken ignoring calls to cut US aid to Israeli forces over rights abuse: Report

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Photo by AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly been failing to act on a proposal from a special panel at his department to suspend assistance to Israeli forces over human rights violations against Palestinians.

Citing several current and former American officials, the New York-based ProPublica news site reported on Wednesday that a special committee of the State Department - known as the Israel Leahy Vetting Forum – had recommended in December that Blinken disqualify Israeli military and police units from receiving US aid.

However, it added, “They’ve been sitting in his [Blinken’s] briefcase since then.”

The panel, made up of West Asia and human rights experts, reviewed incidents, including extrajudicial killings of Palestinians by the Israeli police, as well as the gagging and handcuffing of an elderly Palestinian-American man who later died, and the torturing and raping of a teenager.

Most of the cases of rights violations took place in the occupied West Bank before Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip more than six months ago.

Israel waged a genocidal war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out a historic operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Israel has killed at least 33,970 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 76,770 others.

Since the start of the Gaza onslaught, the US, Israel's most dedicated ally, has fast-tracked arms shipments to the occupying regime.

Washington has also vetoed all the UN Security Council resolutions that called for an immediate ceasefire in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Human rights organizations tracking the aggression against Gaza have collected eyewitness testimony and videos showing Israeli war crimes.

“If we had been applying Leahy effectively in Israel … maybe you wouldn’t have” the occupation forces filming “their war crimes now because we have contributed to a culture of impunity,” said Josh Paul, a former director in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and a member of the vetting forum.

Earlier this week, more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the administration of US President Joe Biden calling for a thorough investigation into its claims that Israel was not using American weapons in violation of international law.


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