Gaza’s Plight: US Arms and Israel’s Actions

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has witnessed relentless bombardments by the Israeli forces over Gaza, targeting not only civilian and residential areas but even hospitals. Despite persistent calls for an urgent ceasefire from the global community and international humanitarian organisations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has remained unyielding. This unwavering stance, in violation of international human rights, has granted Israeli soldiers permission to engage in a bloodshed that has sparked profound concerns globally, resulting in significant human losses and a humanitarian crisis.
As of December 3, 2023, international media reports indicate a staggering toll with over 16,000 Palestinians, including more than 7,500 children, losing their lives. This grim statistic underscores the severity of the conflict, particularly its devastating impact on children, making it one of the deadliest wars for children in modern times. Notably, Israel has rebuffed calls for a permanent ceasefire, escalating tensions and further exacerbating the human tragedy. Compounding the situation is the role of the Biden administration, facing international criticism for providing military support to Israel in contravention of its own established policies. The United States, guided by laws such as the Leahy Law, Arms Export Control Act (AECA), Foreign Assistance Act, and the Carter Memorandum, normally refrains from supplying arms to entities engaged in human rights violations. However, the Biden administration’s recent arms transfer policy reveals a deviation from established frameworks. By engaging in closed-door negotiations, lacking oversight and accountability, the administration continues to supply arms to Israel, seemingly sidestepping its own regulations.
The persistent question arises: why does the U.S. support Israel with arms and military assistance, violating its own international policies? This inconsistency in the application of rules and policies, favoring Israel beyond international norms, remains a glaring violation of international laws. The Biden administration must address this contradiction and reform the U.S.-Israel relationship post-war by consistently applying existing laws and regulations on arms exports, even when dealing with Israel.
The international community, especially the United Nations, must take tangible actions to halt the human rights violations in Gaza. Despite the evident violations, the Head of the United Nations appears powerless against the influence of the U.S. and its allies supporting Israel. It is imperative for the UN and the broader international community to exert pressure on the Biden government to cease military assistance and arms supply to Israel. Failing this, the dire consequences of violating international human rights could escalate, potentially leading to a catastrophic world war. Immediate and collective action is crucial to prevent further escalation and address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.

The writer is a teacher and writer. He is a member of PFUC Pakistan. He can be reached at @AliGulLeghari1

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