US investigates Israeli airstrikes causing civilian casualties in Gaza, potential use of white phosphorus in Lebanon

by | Feb 14, 2024

According to US officials speaking to The Wall Street Journal, the State Department is conducting an investigation into Israeli airstrikes in Gaza resulting in the deaths of numerous civilians. Additionally, the probe aims to ascertain whether Israel may have utilized white phosphorus in Lebanon. This examination seeks to determine whether America's primary ally has inappropriately employed its weaponry to target civilians.

The United States is currently investigating an airstrike that occurred on October 31 in the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp near Gaza City. According to US officials, the strike resulted in the deaths of over 125 people. Israel claimed it targeted a Hamas commander in a tunnel beneath a high-rise building.

Investigators suspect that Israel utilized a 2,000-pound bomb in the attack, which may have been provided by the US. The United Nations Human Rights Office stated that the strike caused a significant number of civilian casualties and could potentially constitute a war crime.

Authorities are conducting these inquiries as part of a recently established State Department procedure, initiated last autumn before the onset of the Gaza conflict. This framework aims to provide the United States with additional mechanisms to restrict military assistance to nations in the event of misuse of American weaponry.

Should investigators determine that Israel has misapplied American weapons, they may propose various measures, including discontinuation of military aid, imposition of usage restrictions, or formulation of new guidelines. However, State Department spokesman Matt Miller stated on Tuesday that the process was not intended to serve as a rapid investigation leading to an immediate policy change.

Source: The Wall Street Journal 

 

 

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