US law prohibits the President from providing military aid to any country ‘which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognised human rights’ . Under the 1967 US Arms Export Control Act, it is illegal to use US weapons to carry out extra-judicial killings. This act stipulates that weapons be sold to ‘friendly countries solely for internal security and legitimate defense’.

Since September 2001, the Israeli army has used attack helicopters, tanks and F-16 missiles to target Palestinian civilians, homes, forces, buildings and in demonstrations. In its Human Rights Report, the US State Department publicly declared that the Israeli army actions were an ‘excessive use of force’, noting that the Israeli forces used live ammunition, even when they were not in imminent danger, and stated that Israeli military ‘shelled PA institutions and Palestinian civilian areas in response to individual Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians or settlers’. These comments clearly demonstrate that the US does not believe that these weapons are being used for the ‘legitimate defense’ purposes stipulated in the Arms Export Control Act.

The Israeli government’s policies in the occupied Palestinian territories have been condemned by human rights organisations worldwide. In the Israeli army’s ‘excessive use of force’ towards Palestinian civilians, and in its policy of ‘state assassinations’, not only is the Israeli government violating international human rights law, but in supplying military aid to such a state, the US is violating its own law.

From The Palestine Monitor.