US expresses 'troubling' concerns over Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza

Apr 23, 2024

By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington, DC [US], April 23 : The US State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and highlighted Israel, underscoring concerns over human rights abuses in Gaza.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed the human rights concerns stating, "The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza continues to raise deeply troubling concerns for human rights."
He added that the US has condemned the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks while urging Israel to minimize civilian harm in its response.
The section on Israel, which runs 103 pages, documents "credible reports" of more than a dozen types of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, conflict-related sexual violence or punishment, and the punishment of family members for alleged offences by a relative.
The resulting conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has had a "significant negative impact" on the human rights status in Israel, the report said.
It further cited credible reports of "unlawful killings" by both Hamas and the Israeli government.
Blinken said the United States would continue to make assessments about foreign nations' records on human rights, and potentially authorize consequences for countries that fall short, regardless of their status as an enemy or partner of the United States.
Blinken in his remarks, explained that the US has "made clear" that Israel needs to follow international law "and take every feasible precaution to protect civilians."
He emphasized that the department is still "urgently" raising concerns about civilian deaths in Gaza during the war.
The US also "repeatedly" brought up concerns about humanitarian aid access in Gaza, civilian displacement and "unprecedented" journalist deaths, the report noted.