Government Relations

#CeasefireNow: Prevent Further Loss of Civilian Lives

November 9, 2023 |Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories, USA

More than 2 million people in the Gaza Strip are struggling to survive and the level of civilian casualties has been unprecedented. More than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the beginning of the current conflict, including more than 4,000 children, and more than 1,400 Israelis. According to UNICEF, more than 420 children are killed and injured every day. That’s more than 6 school buses of kids, every single day. More than 200 people have been taken hostage by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups. Serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, by all parties to the conflict continue unabated. A ceasefire will enable independent investigations into human rights violations and war crimes by all parties to be carried out.

Amnesty calls on members of Congress to:

  • Call publicly for US to support an immediate ceasefire and appeal to the Israeli government for unimpeded humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip.
  • Urgently fund humanitarian assistance.

Amnesty International has documented evidence of violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli forces, Hamas, and other armed groups. Amnesty International has documented unlawful attacks by Israeli forces, including indiscriminate attacks that failed to distinguish between civilians and military objectives, which caused mass civilian casualties. Amnesty has documented how Israeli forces have failed to take feasible precautions to spare civilians or carried out indiscriminate attacks. The United States, which has an outsized role and responsibility as Israel’s closest ally, must do everything in its power to ensure civilians are protected and a humanitarian collapse is prevented, including suspending supply, sale, or transfer of arms, until there is no longer a substantial risk that arms could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights or humanitarian law.

Specifically, Amnesty calls on members of Congress to:

  • Ensure that Congressional notification requirements remain in place for any Foreign Military Financing, with no exemptions for the Israeli government, and demand transparency regarding all arms transfers.
  • Conduct oversight to ensure proper implementation of “Leahy Law” vetting so that there is no assistance provided to specific Israeli military, security, or police units when there is credible evidence of gross human rights violations. Exercise oversight to ensure the US applies its policies regarding U.S. security assistance and arms salesproperly and universally, including following the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy and the Civilian Harm Incident Response Guidance (CHIRG), which together serve to prevent arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law.

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