Biden Admin Accuses Israeli Military of ‘Gross Abuses of Human Rights’ Pre-Oct 7

Biden Admin Accuses Israeli Military of ‘Gross Abuses of Human Rights’ Pre-Oct 7
People enjoy the warm weather outside the White House in Washington on April 28, 2024. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is accusing at least five Israel Defense Force (IDF) units of “gross violations of human rights” before Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks, the State Department has announced.

In an April 29 press briefing, the State Department’s principal deputy spokesman, Vedant Patel, revealed that all the alleged violations occurred on the West Bank and predate the current war being fought between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip.

“What I can say, in terms of where the process is right now, is that after a careful process, we found five Israeli units responsible for individual incidents of gross violations of human rights,” he said.

“Four of these units have effectively remediated these violations, which is what we expect partners to do. For a remaining unit, we continue to be in consultations and engagements with the Government of Israel; they have submitted additional information as it pertains to that unit.”

According to Mr. Patel, “the remediation standard is consistent and it is the same for all countries.”

At this stage, the State Department is still reviewing the information provided by the Israeli government regarding the fifth Israeli military unit. Mr. Patel said this review will influence any actions that the Biden Administration takes.

“When conclusions are made under actions that fall under the auspices of the Foreign Assistance Act, we’re required to consult with officials from the government of Israel,” he said.

“And that is ongoing; we are engaging with them in a process, and we will make an ultimate decision when it comes to that unit when that process is complete.”

Mr. Patel said that if at any point, they discover conduct that was “inconsistent with the standards that we find,” there could be a “restriction on applicable U.S. assistance.”

Leahy Law Not Off the Table

One possible restriction could be the Leahy Law, which consists of two statutory provisions prohibiting the U.S. Government from using funds to assist units of foreign security forces where credible information implicates them in human rights violations.

Over the years, the federal government has used the Leahy Law against hundreds of foreign units, including those from Mexico, Colombia, and Cambodia who were found to have broken human rights laws.

In this case, Mr. Patel says the administration is following the law and will only announce sanctions once the review process is complete.

“When it comes to the Leahy Law, we have a careful and very deliberate process when it comes to implementing the Leahy Law,” he said.

“And I want to reiterate what you’ve heard me, the Secretary, Matt, and others say before, which is that the same standards when it comes to the implementation—the same standards of the application of this law—applies to every country that receives U.S. security assistance.”

It has been alleged by ProPublica, citing unnamed officials, that a special State Department panel recommended Secretary of State Antony Blinken disqualify multiple Israeli military and police units from receiving U.S. aid after reviewing allegations that they committed serious human rights abuses. Mr. Blinken has not addressed the allegations publicly yet.

A White House spokesperson recently doubled down in support for Israel in its war against Hamas, declaring the independent International Criminal Court (ICC) has “no jurisdiction” over the Israel-Hamas war after high-ranking Israeli officials expressed concern about being arrested on charges. The Hague’s ICC was created over 20 years ago; however, the U.S. and Israel are not active participants.

The Epoch Times has contacted Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s office for comment.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.