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Biden admin accuses Israel of human rights violations in stunning condemnation

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The State Department announced it had found five Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) units responsible for gross human rights violations, though whether this could impact US military aid remains unclear.

While four units were deemed to have addressed the issues, one remains under review.

“They have submitted additional information as it pertains to that unit. And we’re continuing to have those conversations consistent with the memorandum of understanding that we have with the government of Israel that was entered into in 2021,” State Department principal deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said.

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

The Secretary of State raised the matter with Israeli officials.

“The remediation standard is consistent and it is the same for all countries,” Patel said.

This relates to the Leahy Laws, which prohibit US military aid and training to foreign security units guilty of human rights abuses.

“When we’re talking about the Leahy Law, what we are talking about our unit and component restrictions, when they are found in violation, it is not have bearing on the broader security relationship that we may have with a country, especially a country like Israel, in which we have a longstanding security relationship. The provision of bulk assistance that’s gone back many, many years,” Patel said.

Israel says it investigates such allegations, but rights groups argue the US has not rigorously applied the laws to its ally.

The announcement comes amid concerns the International Criminal Court may issue arrest warrants against Israeli leaders over alleged excessive force against Gaza.

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