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Joint Statement – Civil Society Groups Call On US Government to Block Unconditioned Military Assistance to Israel

A view of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on May 28, 2020. © 2020 Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via AP Images

We, the undersigned organizations, are dismayed that Congress, in an emergency supplemental bill, appropriated an unprecedented $14.1 billion in military assistance to Israel without attaching any human rights and civilian protection conditions, despite the overwhelming evidence of the Israeli government’s violations of international and U.S. law over the past six months. Now, more than ever, Congress has the responsibility to ensure that the use of appropriated funds, including for the purchase of weapons, is consistent with U.S. law and policy. We urge Congress to exercise its oversight authority and withhold any lethal military aid that can be used to commit violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Following the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas-led fighters on October 7, Israeli forces have indiscriminately attacked civilians, residential buildings, hospitals, religious sites, and safe zones; forced the mass displacement of around 75 percent of the Palestinian population in Gaza; and restricted food, water, fuel, and humanitarian assistance from reaching civilians, leading to imminent famine. Israel’s military assault on Gaza has resulted in the killing of more than 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, 70 percent of whom are women and children, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. United Nations experts have called for all states to immediately halt arms exports to Israel to ensure they do not violate international humanitarian law.

It is clear that both Congress and this administration have been unwilling to apply U.S. law and policy and instead prefer to provide a blank check to Israel. In fact, not only does this supplemental aid package provide Israel with billions in lethal arms, it also provides the country with privileges above and beyond anything it has ever received, in particular for the war reserve stockpile and offshore procurement. The passage of the supplemental bill further risks U.S. complicity in grave international crimes committed by Israel. We urge the administration and Congress to uphold U.S. law and policy and international law by withholding the transfer of additional lethal military aid to Israel.


American Friends Service Committee 
Amnesty International USA
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies 
Center for American Progress
Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Center for International Policy
Center for Victims of Torture
Charity and Security Network
Demand Progress Action
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Human Rights Watch
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC)
Nonviolence International
Peace Action 
Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft 
Refugees International
Save the Children US
The United Methodist Church — General Board of Church and Society
United for Peace and Justice
Win Without War
Women for Weapons Trade Transparency 


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