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Homechevron_rightMiddle Eastchevron_rightUS turns blind eye to...

US turns blind eye to Israeli human rights abuses to continue arms sales: Ex-US official

US turns blind eye to Israeli human rights abuses to continue arms sales: Ex-US official

In a move underscoring the escalating tensions surrounding US policy towards the Gaza conflict, Annelle Sheline, a human rights official within the US State Department, has tendered her resignation.

Sheline's departure signals a deepening rift within the Biden administration over its handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict, as the administration is accused of flouting US law by continuing to arm Israel and of hushing up evidence of Israeli human rights abuses.

Sheline, who served in the Near Eastern section of the Bureau of democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, cited profound disillusionment with the administration's approach towards Gaza as the primary reason for her resignation.

She lamented what she perceived as the administration's failure to adhere to US law, particularly the Leahy laws and section 620 (I) of the Foreign Assistance Act, which prohibits support to foreign military units implicated in atrocities and governments impeding humanitarian assistance, respectively.

Despite her efforts to influence policy from within, including signing dissent cables and raising concerns with supervisors, Sheline expressed doubts about her ability to effect meaningful change. Her decision to step down underscores growing discontent within the State Department over the Biden administration's stance on the Gaza conflict.

Sheline's resignation comes amidst mounting criticism from human rights groups and a significant shift in public opinion regarding Israel's conduct in Gaza. Recent polls have indicated a substantial drop in American support for Israel's actions, with a majority now disapproving of its conduct. This changing sentiment has placed the Biden administration under increasing pressure to address concerns over Israeli violations of international humanitarian law.

The Biden administration's recent assertion that Israel has not violated international humanitarian law has drawn condemnation from human rights advocates. Critics argue that the administration is bending facts to justify continued arms sales to Israel, despite widespread evidence of human rights abuses.

The issuance of memorandum NSM-20, which requires assurances from recipients of American weapons regarding their use, has failed to assuage concerns over US complicity in Israeli actions.

Amidst allegations of indiscriminate bombing, disproportionate attacks, and mistreatment of detainees, the Biden administration faces mounting scrutiny over its support for Israel. Reports of extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces and accusations of sexual assault against Palestinian women in Israeli custody have further strained US-Israel relations.

Brian Finucane, a senior US program adviser, expressed concern over the administration's reluctance to address violations of humanitarian law hindering aid efforts in Gaza. Despite acknowledging Israeli efforts to block aid, the administration has yet to take decisive action to ensure compliance with international norms.

Sheline's resignation highlights the complex dynamics at play within the Biden administration regarding US-Israel relations and the Gaza conflict. As public opinion continues to shift and pressure mounts on the administration to enforce US law, the trajectory of US policy towards Gaza remains uncertain.

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TAGS:HamasGenocideFree PalestineIsrael Palestine ConflictIsrael War on Gaza
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