An Amnesty International investigation has uncovered that Israel used U.S.-manufactured Joint Direct Attack Munitions in two fatal bombings on residential homes in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed the occupation’s critical need for a continuous supply of U.S. munitions to supply its relentless bombing campaign of Gaza.
“We need three things from the US: munitions, munitions, and munitions,” Netanyahu said during a meeting with local government officials, per a recording obtained by the Israel Hayom newspaper, which Doha News could not verify, and quoted by the Financial Times.
“There are huge demonstrations in western capitals,” said Netanyahu, who also said he is concerned about potential weapons import disruptions due to international political pressure.
”There have been disagreements with the best of our friends,” Netanyahu also said.
The Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 16,250 Palestinians since the start of the genocide in Gaza on October 7, according to the latest figures by Palestine’s health ministry.
Euro-Med reported a much higher figure on Wednesday of 21,731, including 8,697 children and missing Palestinians still under the rubble.
Since October 7, 61% of homes and residential units have been destroyed, according to the Government Media Office in Gaza.
Out of 305,000 affected units, 52,000 are entirely obliterated, and 253,000 are partially damaged, according to an official statement from the Gaza media office during a news conference in Gaza on Tuesday.
121 government buildings and 69 schools are completely non-functional, with 275 schools suffering partial damage.
The U.S. House passed a Republican-pushed bill on November 3 to provide Israel with $14.5 billion in aid to bolster Israel’s military capabilities and for self-defence.
The bill included $4 billion to boost Israel’s Iron Dome, David’s Sling missile defence systems as well as military equipment transferred from U.S. stocks, Al Jazeera reported.
The U.S. provides Israel with a yearly $3.8 billion in military assistance, totaling over $124 billion since Israel was established.
In early November, reporters in Gaza pointed to the use of the Hellfire R9X bladed missile by the Israeli Occupation Forces in bombing the Al-Shifa Hospital’s courtyard, where displaced Palestinians and journalists sought refuge.
The weapon is mostly made by Lockheed Martin, a major American arms company, and carries blades that are strong enough to cut limbs and organs of victims, according to a Reuters report on this type of missile.
Meanwhile, an Amnesty International investigation uncovered that Israel used U.S.-manufactured Joint Direct Attack Munitions in two fatal bombings on residential homes in the Gaza Strip.
Amnesty said that these Israeli strikes amounted to direct attacks on civilians or civilian structures and called for an investigation into the use of these weapons as war crimes.
Amnesty identified the distinct remnants of these munitions in the debris of the demolished homes in central Gaza, where two separate strikes killed 43, including 19 children, 14 women, and 10 men. Amnesty said that survivors reported not receiving advance warning of the relentless attacks.
“The fact that US-made munitions are being used by the Israeli military in unlawful attacks with deadly consequences for civilians should be an urgent wake-up call to the Biden administration. The US-made weapons facilitated the mass killings of extended families,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, said.
Amnesty called on the U.S. and other governments to stop sending weapons to Israel, who “more likely than not” will use them to commit or risk violating international law.
“To knowingly assist in violations is contrary to the obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law. A state that continues to supply arms being used to commit violations may share responsibility for these violations,” she added.
As pressure mounts, the U.S. has shifted its tone towards Israel and its bombardment campaign in Gaza. On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks,”
“We want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them,” he added.
While the Biden administration had been firmly backing Israel’s military actions in Gaza, the ever-escalating death toll in Gaza, Blinken’s notable shift in tone follows widespread pro-Palestinian demonstrations globally and growing unease within the Biden administration.
Israel initially directed its military offensive towards the northern region of the enclave, but on December 1 the occupation forces distributed leaflets in southern areas, forcibly displacing tens of thousands more Palestinians. But civilians have nowhere to go because Israel has also been bombing the south.
James Elder, spokesman for the UN children’s agency UNICEF, told reporters on Tuesday through a video-link from Cairo after spending a week in Gaza that Israel’s designated safe zones in Gaza “are not scientific, they are not rational, they are not possible, and I think the authorities are aware of this.”
The claim that there is a secure place for Palestinians to escape to is “callous,” he said. In a proper safe zone, “you can guarantee the conditions of food, water, medicine and shelter.”
Elder also stressed the impossibility of safe zones in Gaza. “These are entirely, entirely absent. You cannot overstate this. These are tiny patches of barren land, or they are street corners, they are sidewalks,” he said.