Biden gives Israel deadline to submit human rights report, conditions military aid

Because Israel is actively engaged in a war, its deadline to submit a human rights report is set at only 45 days. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

In an unprecedented move, the United States is making aid to Israel conditional on its submitting a report giving assurances and proof that international human rights laws were not violated.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced that four of the country’s allies, including Israel, would be required to submit yearly reports with “credible and reliable written assurances” of their compliance with international human rights laws.

Countries not in active conflict were given a deadline of 180 days to file a report, but because Israel is actively engaged in a war, its deadline is set at only 45 days.

In addition, the US State and Defense departments will conduct their own reviews on whether the allies receiving aid are meeting requirements and avoiding human rights violations.

In a memo, the Biden Administration said the reports were designed to “engage with foreign partners to share and learn best practices for reducing the likelihood of and responding to civilian casualties, including through appropriate training and assistance.”

“In order to effectively implement certain obligations under United States law, the United States must maintain an appropriate understanding of foreign partners’ adherence to international law, including, as applicable, international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” the memo said.

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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the memo “emerged in part because of our discussions with members of Congress,” a statement that indicates that Progressive representatives, such as Rashida Tlaib, have significantly influenced Biden’s policy regarding Israel’s war with Hamas.

Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and other congress members wrote a letter to President Biden and the Government Accountability Office requesting an assessment of the State Department’s compliance with Leahy Laws and Conventional Arms Transfer policies regarding security assistance to Israel.

In addition, progressive senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, called for aid to Israel to be conditional on its conduct in armed conflict.

Biden’s increased scrutiny on Israel comes as he faces challenges in his re-election campaign with low approval ratings and a strong indication that he is losing support of younger voters over his support for Israel during its war with Hamas.

Although Biden staunchly supported Israel’s right to defend itself early in the war against the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th, his rhetoric recently has been focused on cautioning Israel about the number of Gazan casualties.

In a press conference last week  Biden said, “I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response (by Israel) in the Gaza Strip has been over the top.

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Ironically, Biden also used the same phrase–“over the top”— to describe Hamas’s demands in the recent hostage release deal, such as requiring Israel to release 1,500 Palestinian prisoners and to submit to a permanent ceasefire, conditions that Netanyahu flatly rejected.