US’ Blinken does not report Israel violating weapons terms

Blinken’s report is expected to critique Israel, but fails to say it is violating US’ weapons terms [GETTY]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to submit a report to Congress as soon as Friday on Israel’s war on Gaza that stops short of concluding it has violated the terms for its use of US weapons, Axios said on Thursday.

The report, citing three officials, added that the State Department was reviewing the use of weapons by Israel and six other countries engaged in different armed conflicts.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that the Biden administration was set to miss a Wednesday deadline to report to Congress on whether Israel is violating international humanitarian law in Gaza.

A national security memorandum, NSM-20, issued by President Joe Biden in February, required the department to report to Congress by 8 May how credible Israel’s assurances that its use of US weapons does not violate US or international law.

On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told a press briefing that the NSM-20 report was not yet finished, but the department was working “very hard” to complete it.

On Wednesday, Biden publicly warned Israel that the US would stop supplying its weapons if Israeli forces conducted an invasion of Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where millions of desperate Palestinians have fled.

Axios reported on Sunday the US put a hold on ammunition shipment to Israel – it was the first time since 7 October that the US had stopped a weapons shipment to the Israeli military.

Israel’s war on Gaza has so far killed over 34,000 Palestinians, mainly women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

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