U.S. lawmakers call for investigation of Israeli military’s human rights violations

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry from 10 Democratic congressmen and one senator asks the Obama administration to investigate alleged human rights violations by the Israeli and Egyptian military.

If such violations are proven it could trigger a law that would withhold military assistance to Israel and Egypt.

“There have been a disturbing number of reports of possible gross violations of human rights by security forces in Israel and Egypt- incidents that may have involved recipients, or potential recipients, of U.S. military assistance. We urge you to determine if these reports are credible and to inform us on your findings,” read the letter dated Feb. 17 sent by the U.S. lawmakers and first reported on Wednesday by Politico.

The senator who signed on to the letter is Vermont Den. Patrick Leahy, author of the Leahy Law, which bars the State and Defense departments from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.


The letter calls on Kerry to determine if any of the violations would trigger the Leahy law, and if so to “take appropriate action under the law.”

It cites Amnesty International reports alleging the “extrajudicial killings” for at least four Palestinian men and women. Among those named are: Fadi Alloun, who stabbed a 15-year-old Jewish teen and was shot and killed during a chase to apprehend him; Saad Al-Atrash, who was shot and killed as he tried to stab a soldier in Hebron; Hadeel Hashlamoum, a Palestinian woman who was shot to death after arriving at a Hebron checkpoint with a knife.

The letter also asks Kerry to update lawmakers on mechanisms for monitoring U.S. military aid to Israel and Egypt.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)