Tuesday, May 28, 2024

US says looking into alleged Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated Washington is looking into allegations of human rights abuses by Israel in its war on the besieged Gaza Strip. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed during Israel's carnage in Gaza over the past seven months.

Unveiling the State Department’s annual human rights report, Blinken denied the US has double standards when it comes to Israel and human rights.

“Do we have a double standard? The answer is no,” Blinken told reporters.

Israel has waged a brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 last year, which Tel Aviv claims killed nearly 1,200 people.

At least 34,150 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and 77,000 others injured amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

The US State Department said in its annual report Israel’s assault on the besieged enclave, which has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians and resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis, has had “a significant negative impact” on the human rights situation.

Significant human rights issues include credible reports of arbitrary or unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and unjustified arrests of journalists, added the State Department’s 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Rights groups have flagged numerous incidents of civilian harm during Israel’s offensive in Gaza and have raised alarm about rising violence in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian Health Ministry records show Israeli soldiers or settlers have killed nearly 500 Palestinians since October 7.

Despite the many reports, the Joe Biden administration announced it has not found Israel in breach of international law so far.

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