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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Blinken must inform Congress by May 8 whether he certifies Israel’s assurances as credible and reliable under this memorandum.

The US State Department is currently divided regarding whether Israel is using weapons provided by the United States in compliance with international law, CNN reported on Sunday.

This division comes just before Secretary of State Antony Blinken approaches the deadline, next week, to determine and report to Congress on the matter.

Citing a department official, CNN reported that “there is not unanimity about whether to accept Israel’s assurances about this as ‘credible and reliable’.”


These assurances were required by a national security memorandum issued by President Joe Biden in February.

The memorandum reportedly mandates all countries receiving US weapons to ensure that they are using them “in a manner consistent with all applicable international and domestic law and policy, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” according to CNN.

Blinken must inform Congress by May 8 whether he certifies Israel’s assurances as credible and reliable under this memorandum.

War Crimes

Human rights organizations have accused Israel of committing war crimes and abuses during its war on Gaz, starting October 7. 

Additionally, hundreds of officials from Western countries, including some from the US, have expressed concerns about potential complicity in war crimes due to their support for Israel’s actions.

According to CNN, the State Department official did not provide further details “about which parts of the department are in favor of accepting Israel’s assurances, which are in favor of rejecting them, and which took no position.”

Serious Concerns

CNN cited a report by Reuters indicating that four State Department bureaus have raised ‘serious concern over non-compliance’ with international humanitarian law during Israel’s war on Gaza..

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller declined to comment on leaked documents.

“We don’t comment on leaked documents, especially those purporting to contain classified information,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

These concerns arise amidst Biden’s signing of an aid package totaling $26 billion for Israel, including funds for defense item replenishment and procurement of advanced weapons systems. 

Since the beginning of the war, the US has facilitated over 100 foreign military sales to Israel, according to CNN. 

Progressive voices in the US are increasingly critical of Biden’s support for Israel, with protests over the Gaza war spreading across the country. 

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,488 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,643 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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