The Journal.ei & Amnesty USA & Edith Garwood / Amnesty USA – 2014-08-11 01:37:19
ACTION ALERT: Amnesty Int. to Washington: ‘Stop Arming Israel’
Amnesty International is calling on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups.
Amnesty International Holds Protest
Over US Arms Transfer to Israel
DUBLIN, Ireland (August 8, 2014) — Amnesty International held a protest in Dublin today calling on the US Government to immediately halt the transfer of arms and fuel to Israel. The call comes amid reports that the Pentagon has approved the immediate transfer of grenades and mortar rounds to the Israeli armed forces from a US arms stockpile pre-positioned in Israel.
It follows a shipment of 4.3 tons of US-manufactured rocket motors, which arrived in the Israeli port of Haifa on 15 July.
According to data made public by the US Government, its arms transfers to Israel from January to May 2014 included nearly $27 million for “rocket launchers”, $9.3 million worth in “parts of guided missiles” and nearly $762,000 for “bombs, grenades and munitions of war”.
Colm O’Gorman is the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, he said:
Instead of continuing to send shipments of fuel and arms to the Israeli military, the USA must immediately suspend all such transfers and back an international investigation into the atrocities being carried out by both sides.
“It is deeply cynical for the White House to condemn the deaths and injuries of Palestinians, including children, and humanitarian workers, when it knows full well that the Israeli military responsible for such attacks are armed to the teeth with weapons and equipment supplied by the US.”
Amnesty International is calling on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups with the aim of preventing violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by all sides.
In the absence of a UN arms embargo, the organization is calling on all states to unilaterally suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to all parties to the conflict.
On July 24, the speaker of the Iranian parliament said Iran had provided arms manufacturing know-how to Hamas in Gaza.
In November 2012, he said Iran had given both financial and military support to Hamas, and the Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said missile technology has been supplied.
Hamas fighters have admitted to firing Iranian-type Fajr 5 missiles towards Tel Aviv, but mostly fire shorter-range M25 or “Qassam” rockets and GRAD rockets.
O’Gorman said, “cutting off the supply of weapons and military supplies which are used to commit serious breaches of international law is a key step in bringing to an end the current round of conflict.
“Those who supply arms to either side must recognize their responsibility for the appalling suffering inflicted upon civilians during the conflict.
“And those directly responsible for breaches of international law and war crimes must be held to account. Impunity for war crimes must end.”
More than 1,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been reported killed since Israel began its latest offensive in Gaza on 8 July.
At least 63 Israeli soldiers have died in the conflict, as well as three civilians in Israel, including a Thai national.
To: Your Congressional Representative, Barack Obama — President of the United States, Ron Dermer — Israeli Ambassador to the United States
Subject: US: Stop Providing Arms to Israel
I am very concerned with the recent events in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I urge the US government to immediately stop the transfer of all arms to Israel. This includes ending the supply of all weapons, munitions, police equipment and devices, as well as training and techniques to Israel.
Amnesty International is calling for a UN-imposed comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups. The US government needs to do its part and stop arming the Israeli military.
The Israeli military has engaged in excessive use of force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the latest round of collective punishment in the West Bank, which includes East Jerusalem. This is following the recent murder of both Palestinian and Israeli teenagers as well as the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip, which has left hundreds of Palestinian civilians detained, injured and killed.
Since Israel began military operations targeting the Gaza Strip, well over 1,263 Palestinians and 59 Israelis have been killed. The United Nations has estimated that sixty-seven percent (67%) of the deaths in Gaza are civilians. Of those, over twenty percent (20%) are children.
Thousands in Israel, including children, live under the fear and threat of rocket fire from Gaza. They seek shelter when the sirens wail — day or night. These rockets violate international law because of their indiscriminate nature and Amnesty calls for their immediate cessation.
Many of the military tactics used by all parties to the conflict violate international humanitarian and human rights law. To help stop these human rights violations, the US must do its part. US policy prohibits the provision of weapons where there is a credible expectation that they may be used in grave human rights violations.
Because of this, the US should suspend all arms transfers to Israel until Israel stops violating human rights across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel must put in place effective mechanisms to ensure that these transfers will not be used to commit or facilitate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Israel must also put in place credible accountability processes for past violations.
The goal is to prevent further serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by all parties to the conflict.
The US must act in accordance with its own laws and policies concerning weapons transfers. (Read our earlier letter to Congress, June 26, 2014: http://bit.ly/1rnGltv)
Stop arming Israel.
The world is watching.
The United States is Not Just a
Bystander in Israel-Gaza Violence
Edith Garwood / Amnesty International USA
(July 14, 2014) — This past week, Israel has been carrying out air strikes and other military operations that have resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, most of them civilians not directly participating in hostilities.
The US, as the largest foreign supplier of weapons, munitions, police equipment and devices, as well as training and techniques to Israel, bears a particular responsibility for the deployment of the weapons it provides.
Amnesty International is calling for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes on Gaza and continuing volleys of indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel. Amnesty is also calling for a UN-imposed comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups.
In conjunction with that effort, Amnesty International USA urges the US government to suspend transfers of munitions, weapons, crowd control devices, and military training to Israel.
US arms transfers should not resume until and unless Israel stops violating human rights across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel must put in place effective mechanisms to ensure that these transfers will not be used to commit or facilitate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Israel must also put in place credible accountability processes for past violations.
During this latest military operation, both Israel and leaders of Hamas are resorting to the same rhetoric and many of the same military tactics used during previous military operations. The international community cannot sit idly by, allowing the number of civilian deaths and injuries to climb without any real response.
Since July 7th, more than 172 Palestinians in Gaza have died due to these strikes and some 1140 have been injured, many seriously. The United Nations estimates seventy-seven percent (77%) of those killed are civilians; over twenty percent (21%) — children.
Thousands in Israel, including children, live under the fear and threat of rocket fire from Gaza. They seek shelter when the sirens wail — day or night. These rockets violate international law because of their indiscriminate nature. Fortunately, no Israelis have been killed and only a handful have been injured so far.
Over the years, Amnesty International, has documented the link between US arms and Israeli violations. US-made F-16s, Hellfire missiles, drones, US-issued Caterpillar bulldozers, Apache helicopters and other equipment have been directly linked to violations by Israeli forces of international humanitarian and human rights law.
Yet, the US continues to supply weapons to Israel. Knowing this, the US is violating its own laws and policies, as well as (potentially) implicating itself in the commission of any future violations that may take place.
US policy prohibits the provision of weapons where there is a credible expectation that they may be used in grave human rights violations.
Amid renewed hostilities and continued failure by both sides to provide accountability, Amnesty International is again calling for an international arms embargo on Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip. The goal is to prevent further serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by the parties to the conflict.
Amnesty International USA is again calling on the US government to act in accordance with its own laws and policies concerning weapons transfers by stopping its flow of weapons to Israel. (Read our earlier letter to Congress, June 26, 2014.)
Co-Written by members of the Military, Security, Police Coordination Group (including Susan Waltz, Diego Zavala, Jillian Foster, Nate Smith and Colby Goodman) and Sunjeev Bery, Middle East & North Africa Advocacy Director, for Amnesty International USA.
This entry was posted in Business and Human Rights, Children’s Rights, International Justice, Middle East and North Africa, Military, Police and Arms, Uncategorized, United Nations, Women’s Rights and tagged armed confict, embargo, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Palestinian Authority, rules of war, US-made weapons.
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