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US experts call for an international ban on arms to Israel

Two US experts called on Arab countries to draft a UN resolution to impose an international ban on the export of arms to Israel in response to its "brutal aggression" on Gaza.

They told the Anadolu news agency that the administration of President Barack Obama and the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bear full responsibility for the "aggression" on civilians in Gaza which has been ongoing for more than three weeks.

Josh Ruebner, political analyst and director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli occupation, said: "The United States is directly complicit in the Israeli attack on Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip."

He explained that Washington is complicit because of Israel's misuse of arms provided by the US, which is in violation of US laws, such as the Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act.

The US also provides Israel diplomatic cover to carry out massacres against Palestinian civilians and the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure, Ruebner explained.

He said: "Due to the Obama administration's failure to hold Israel accountable for its violations of US laws, it has become complicit in war crimes by continuing to allow the use of US weapons in this barbaric manner in Gaza."

He said that the General Assembly of the United Nations imposed an embargo on the export of arms to the apartheid regime in South Africa during the second half of the last century, which fully applies to the situation of Palestinians in the face of repeated Israeli aggression on them.

For his part, journalist Ken Klippenstein said: "Official US military aid to Israel stands at about $3 billion per year due to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package originally signed by former President George W. Bush and upheld under President Obama. This figure doesn't, however, include the $504 million in funding dedicated to missile defence."

He criticised the US administration's position on "negotiating a ceasefire", saying: "Even as the US government claims to want to broker a ceasefire, it continues facilitating weapons exports to Israel."

He added: "Israel is the only country allowed to use its US military aid to build its domestic military industry, a privilege that includes developing indigenous weapons systems based on US designs and using US grants to purchase materials, as well as research and development, from Israeli firms. Additional US funds are spent on joint military research and production."

Israel also "enjoys 'fast-track' status for weapons sales", which allows the Israeli army to deal directly with US arms manufacturers without the need for approval from the US Department of Defence, Klippenstein explained.

He went on to say: "On July 14, the same day President Obama vowed that 'We're going to continue to do everything we can to facilitate a return to the 2012 ceasefire,' the State Department approved a possible $544 million sale of AIM-9x sidewinder missiles and associated support services to Israel. These missiles can be used by F-16s to hit ground targets."

On July 7 Israeli forces launched an aerial attack on the Gaza Strip in an operation they call "Protective Edge", to date, some 1,258 Palestinians have been killed and 7,100 injured.

More than 2,330 residential units have also been destroyed while a further 23,160 have been damaged, of which 2,080 have become uninhabitable, according to preliminary information released by the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works.

According to Israel, 53 soldiers have been killed during the operation, in addition to two Israeli civilians and one Thai migrant worker. However, Hamas' military wing the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades said they have killed 110 Israeli soldiers and captured another.

 

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