US finds 5 Israeli units guilty of flagrant human rights violations

On Monday, the US State Department found that five Israeli military units were guilty of gross human rights violations but decided not to bar any of them from military aid, a spokesman said.

The announcement would be the first time the US has directly accused its Middle Eastern ally of overt wrongdoing since hostilities against Gaza began on October 7th.

The Context: According to US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel, Israel was forced to perform “remediation” in cases involving four of five IDF units implicated in rights violations.

  • The incidents in question took place outside of Gaza before conflict broke out between Israel and Hamas in October.
  • Incidents were said to have involved Israeli units performing extrajudicial killings, torture, and physical abuse.
  • Most of them committed against Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

What this means: Under the U.S. Leahy Laws, military allies are expected to adhere to a certain level of conduct in order to qualify for aid. Because Israel was said to have made these remediations, the units can continue to benefit from US taxpayer funds.

  • “Four of these units have effectively remediated these violations, which is what we expect partners to do,” Patel said.
  • The fifth unit, which has not made remediations, is believed to be the IDF’s controversial Netzah Yehuda battalion, which was previously implicated in the death of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American man in 2022.

The big picture: As Israel’s war on Gaza enters into its 7th month, political and social unrest surrounding the genocide of Palestinians continues to foment globally.

  • In Texas, authorities made numerous arrests and physically removed “encampments” over what Governor Greg Abbott called “antisemitism.”
  • Nationally, over 1000 people were believed to have been arrested over a tumultuous 10 days of pro-Palestine demonstrations.
  • Major US politicians, including governors, representatives, and senators, have called for brutal crackdowns for those found to be supporting Palestine, sparking outrage and accusations of violating First Amendment rights.

The numbers: To date, more than 30,320 Palestinians have been killed, with an additional 71,533 wounded since Israel’s war on Palestine began on October 7th, 2023. Tel Aviv’s actions in the region—which include the terror bombing of largely civilian targets—have garnered credible accusations of genocide, currently being examined in the International Criminal Court of Justice.