U.S. Criticizes Israel’s Weapon Use in Gaza as UN Pushes for Palestinian Statehood

U.S. Criticizes Israel Weapon Use in Gaza

Rafah: In a significant development, the United States has expressed serious concerns over Israel’s utilization of American-supplied weaponry in the ongoing Gaza conflict. This critique comes as Israeli military activities intensify around Rafah, a southern city currently providing refuge to over a million displaced individuals.

The U.S., Israel’s principal international supporter, has deemed it plausible that Israel’s weapon usage may contravene international humanitarian law throughout the seven-month-long war. However, the U.S. refrained from drawing definitive conclusions or imposing an embargo on arms deliveries.

Tensions between the two nations escalated earlier in the week when President Joe Biden hinted at suspending certain arms shipments should Israel proceed with a full-scale onslaught on Rafah, as suggested by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S. has cautioned that any potential reputational damage incurred by Israel in attacking Rafah, where approximately 1.4 million civilians seek shelter, would surpass any conceivable military advantage.

Echoing these sentiments, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of an impending “epic humanitarian disaster” if Israel embarked on a comprehensive ground operation in Rafah. Concurrently, France has called for an immediate cessation of Israeli military actions in the area.

Despite international pressure, Netanyahu has maintained a resolute stance, asserting that a ground incursion into Rafah is essential to decisively defeat Hamas and prevent a recurrence of the militant group’s devastating October 7 attack.

The White House, while opposing a major operation in Rafah, acknowledged the gravity of the situation, with National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby expressing concern but not confirming a large-scale ground operation.

Israeli forces have already captured the eastern sectors of Rafah, including the Palestinian side of the border crossing with Egypt, yet have not advanced into the city’s densely populated core.

Journalists from AFP observed artillery barrages targeting Rafah, and the Israeli military confirmed ongoing operations in the city’s eastern regions.

The conflict was triggered by an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, resulting in over 1,170 fatalities, predominantly civilians. In retaliation, Israel’s offensive has claimed the lives of at least 34,943 individuals in Gaza, mostly women and children, as per the health ministry controlled by Hamas.

The military maneuvers around Rafah have profoundly impacted Gaza’s civilian population, with UN agencies reporting the displacement of over 100,000 individuals, many of whom had already been uprooted from other parts of Gaza.

The humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by the closure of the Rafah crossing, a critical conduit for fuel deliveries, leading to a depletion of reserves and hindering aid operations.

Despite these challenges, COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry body overseeing Palestinian civil affairs, managed to deliver 200,000 liters of fuel to Gaza through an alternate crossing, meeting the daily requirement outlined by the United Nations to sustain aid transportation and hospital generators.

U.S. Criticizes Israel Weapon Use in Gaza

Amidst these developments, the UN General Assembly cast an overwhelming vote in favor of Palestine’s quest for full UN membership. The resolution, which passed with 143 votes in favor, nine against, and 25 abstentions, signifies a symbolic victory for Palestine following the U.S. veto in the Security Council.

This UN endorsement underscores the global community’s support for Palestinian statehood and sends a potent message to both Israel and the U.S. to earnestly consider the Palestinian aspiration for sovereignty.