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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No Military Aid for Israel

Amnesty International has called on the United States to suspend arms sales to Israel. This is from the Guardian:

Detailed evidence has emerged of Israel's extensive use of US-made weaponry during its war in Gaza last month, including white phosphorus artillery shells, 500lb bombs and Hellfire missiles.

In a report released today, Amnesty International listed the weapons used and called for an immediate arms embargo on Israel and all Palestinian armed groups. It called on the US president, Barack Obama, to suspend military aid to Israel.

The human rights group said those arming both sides in the conflict "will have been well aware of a pattern of repeated misuse of weapons by both parties and must therefore take responsibility for the violations perpetrated".

The US has long been the largest arms supplier to Israel; under a 10-year agreement negotiated by the Bush administration the US will provide $30bn (£21bn) in military aid to Israel.

"As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa programme director. "To a large extent, Israel's military offensive in Gaza was carried out with weapons, munitions and military equipment supplied by the USA and paid for with US taxpayers' money."

This is from Haaretz:
The report also mentions civilian targets, including The American School in Beit Lahia, Gaza, destroyed by F-16 aircraft. Amnesty's report further states that three ambulance crew-members and a boy who showed them the way to a group of injured were killed on January 4 by an Israeli guided missile that was manufactured jointly by Hellfire Systems and Lockheed Martin/Boeing as part of a U.S. military contract.

The Amnesty representative in the Gaza Strip also found extensive evidence of the use of U.S.-made phosphorus bombs against civilian targets and densely populated areas.
Video of white phosphorus use



h/t Crooks and Liars and Witherspoon
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