Arms Control

No Weapons for War Crimes

April 25, 2024 | by Amnesty International USA |Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories

Since October 2023, Amnesty International has investigated violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by both Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups. It has documented a pattern of unlawful attacks by Israeli forces in the occupied Gaza Strip, including indiscriminate attacks, that failed to distinguish between civilians and military objectives, and which caused mass civilian casualties.

These investigations verified the use of U.S.-made munitions in at least three unlawful attacks by Israeli forces that killed and injured dozens of Palestinian civilians, including many children.

  • October 10, 2023 – Israeli strike on a family home in Deir al-Balah killed 21 members of the al-Najjar family and three neighbors. A Boeing JDAM kit was used with a bomb that likely weighed 2,000lb.
  • October 22, 2023 – Israeli strike on three family homes north of Deir Al-Balah killed 18 members of the Mu’eileq family and one neighbor. A Boeing JDAM kit was used with a bomb that likely weighed at least 1,000lb.
  • January 9, 2024 – Israeli strike hit the top two floors of the Nofal family five-story building in Tal Al Sultan in Rafah to which the Israeli military repeatedly ordered the displaced to flee. The attack killed 18 Palestinian civilians and wounded eight others. A GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb made in the U.S. by Boeing was used.

Amnesty International has documented a longstanding pattern of attacks by Israeli forces that have struck civilians and civilian objects throughout the ongoing offensive that is consistent with the pattern of attacks documented during the 2008-9, 2014, and 2021 conflicts in the occupied Gaza Strip, without accountability for violations of international law.

The U.S. has continued to provide billions of dollars in foreign military funding to the Israeli government and to transfer weapons at a rapid pace. The U.S. has a clear responsibility under both U.S. and international law to ensure that U.S.-made weapons are not used to commit human rights violations. More than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza remain at risk of genocide and an imminent famine engineered by Israeli authorities. Given the overwhelming evidence and extremely high risk that U.S.-weapons are being used to commit violations, the U.S. must immediately suspend the supply, sale, and transfer of arms to the Israeli government.

Amnesty International USA calls on members of Congress to:
  • Vote no to sending billions of dollars in military funding and weapons to the Israeli government, including via Joint Resolutions of Disapprovals under the Arms Export Control Act. Conduct oversight to ensure proper implementation of “Leahy Law” vetting so that there is no assistance provided to Israeli units with credible evidence of gross human rights violations.
  • Exercise oversight to ensure the U.S. applies its policies properly and universally, including applying section 620i of the Foreign Assistance Act, the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, the Civilian Harm Incident Response Guidance (CHIRG), and the new National Security Memorandum-20, which prevent arms transfers that risk facilitating violations of human rights or international humanitarian law.
  • Urgently fund humanitarian assistance to meet the ever-increasing needs of Palestinians in Gaza and restore funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees as a vital lifeline for aid.
  • Call publicly for the U.S. to use all leverage to effectuate an immediate ceasefire and appeal to the Israeli government to lift its unlawful siege and blockade and allow for unimpeded humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip.