Hamas’s ‘human shields’ make it tough to conclude if Israel violated international law, US says

Hamas’s ‘human shields’ make it tough to conclude if Israel violated international law, US says


President Joe Biden’s administration believes it is “reasonable to assess” that Israel has used U.S. weapons in ways that caused excessive amounts of civilian casualties, despite uncertainty caused by Hamas’s use of “human shields.”

“The nature of the conflict in Gaza makes it difficult to assess or reach conclusive findings on individual incidents,” administration officials wrote in the key findings of a report to Congress. “Nevertheless, given Israel’s significant reliance on U.S.-made defense articles, it is reasonable to assess that defense articles…have been used by Israeli security forces since October 7 in instances inconsistent with its IHL [international humanitarian law] obligations or with established best practices for mitigating civilian harm.”

They stopped short of concluding that Israel has violated international humanitarian law, in part due

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