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US Aid to Israel in the face of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Despite the ICJ ruling urging Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and President Biden's condemnation of Israel's planned offensive on Rafah, the U.S. persists in donating billions in military aid. This stark contradiction raises questions about the alignment of actions with stated principles and international law. 


ICJ Ruling and Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza


In a landmark interim ruling, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to adhere to six provisional measures. Among these, Israel was directed to take all possible actions to prevent genocidal acts and ensure the provision of basic services and humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza. 


This ruling comes in the wake of a protracted military campaign by Israel in Gaza, resulting in a devastating humanitarian crisis and a staggering death toll, especially among civilians, with over 28,000 reported dead. 


US Response and Calls for Conditions on Military Support


Despite the glaring humanitarian concerns, the United States, a longstanding ally of Israel, has faced growing scrutiny over its military support. President Joe Biden, while condemning Israel's planned offensive on Rafah, reiterated the U.S. commitment to supporting Israel in its fight against Hamas


However, there is a notable debate, even among congressional Democrats, about whether the U.S. should condition its military aid to Israel, considering the massive civilian casualties caused in Gaza. 


UN experts stress that any arms supply to Israel, which is anticipated to be used in Gaza, likely violates international humanitarian law and should cease immediately. The experts highlighted the heightened need for an arms embargo on Israel following the ICJ's ruling, emphasising the plausible risk of genocide in Gaza.


Contradictions in Actions - US Military Aid Persists


While President Biden has expressed concerns about Israel's military actions, the U.S. continues to donate billions in military aid and arms supplies to Israel. This apparent contradiction between words and actions has raised concerns, especially as the heavy death toll and humanitarian crisis persist. 


The U.S. policy remains unchanged, asserting Israel's right to defend itself while abiding by international humanitarian law. A White House spokesperson emphasised that there has been no change in the U.S. policy, reaffirming support for Israel in its fight against Hamas.


Data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reveals that the US accounted for 68% of Israel's weapon imports from 2013 to 2022. In early February, the United States Senate passed a bill allocating $14 billion to bolster Israel's actions in the Gaza conflict. 


As the U.S. prepares to send more weapons to Israel, questions arise on the contradiction between calls for a ceasefire and the provision of more military supplies.


The juxtaposition of the ICJ ruling, President Biden's condemnation of Israel's offensive, and the ongoing U.S. military aid to Israel brings to light the intricate dynamics at play in international politics. The moral quandary surrounding military support persists, prompting further debate on whether conditions should be imposed to align actions with the principles of human rights and international law.

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