On July 3-4, 2023, Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) launched an attack on the Jenin refugee camp in Israeli occupied Palestine. The IOF did not attack on their own, they were aided by United States’ weapons and support, according to a report by Marjorie Cohn for Truthout. Cohn described the attack as “the most violent military assault in the occupied West Bank in two decades.”
Although there have been disputes between the peoples of Israel and Palestine for decades, this particular attack led to the death of twelve Palestinians, including five civilian children. It also caused injury to more than 120 others. By using armed drones and helicopter gunships, IOF destroyed much of the infrastructure in the area, displacing nearly 4,000 Palestinians. Though many Palestinians needed assistance in the aftermath, the Israeli government denied ambulances access to the wounded. The IOF likely violated the Fourth Geneva Convention by firing teargas into the Khalil Suleiman hospital. Attacking civilian hospitals is a distinct war crime.
The US, however, issued no statement condemning or criticizing the actions of Israel in this incident. Instead, the US said it “supports Israel’s security” and its “right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups.”
The US could be “complicit” in Israel’s crimes, Cohn reported. On average, the US provides Israel $3.8 billion in financial aid annually. Israel uses these funds to buy US weapons, such as Apache helicopter gunships and munitions.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that anyone who “aids, abets, or otherwise assists” in the commission or attempted commission of a crime can be prosecuted, Cohn reported. Domestically, Congress is forbidden from funding foreign militaries that “commit gross violations of human rights.” Attacking civilians and hospitals are both violations of human rights. Although the International Criminal Court started an investigation into the crimes committed in Palestinian territory, not much progress has been made.
Though multiple corporate news companies have reported on civilians killed in Israel, as of July 15, 2023, none have covered the United States’ support in the IOF attack on Jenin or the Palestinian casualties.
Source: Marjorie Cohn, “Israel Killed Civilians, Targeted Hospitals in Jenin With US Weapons and Support,” Truthout, July 10, 2023.
Student Researcher: Riley Cummins (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)