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ADC Action Alert

ADC Action Alert

  • January 2, 2003
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ADC: Letter-Writing Campaign Against Israeli Death Squads’ Use of US
Weapons
ADC Action Alert:Join Letter-Writing Campaign Against Israeli Death Squads’ Use of US Weapons
Over the past eleven months, Israeli death squads have assassinated over fifty Palestinian political leaders and activists. In most of these attacks, Israeli military personnel used American supplied
weapons in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention and in direct
violation of US laws. The Arms Export Control Act stipulates that
American-supplied weapons may only be used for internal security and
legitimate self-defense purposes.
For months ADC has been strongly urging the US government to
investigate this patently illegal use of American-made arms by Israel.
Several weeks ago State Department Spokesperson Richard Boucher told
journalists that although the United States strongly condemns Israel’s
death squad activities, no formal investigation of the illegal use of
US made weapons was underway. A few days ago, Israeli officials
claimed that the United States had never raised the issue in any way
with Israel.
However, recent reports from ABC News and other sources suggest that
“The United States has told Israel that a report may have to be sent
to Congress indicating it is improperly using American-made weapons
for killing Palestinian leaders.” Clearly progress on this issue is
being made and it is all the more imperative that we redouble our
efforts to convince the Administration to enforce US law and prevent
Israel from using American-made weapons to murder Palestinian leaders
and activists.
ACTION REQUESTED:
Please visit ADC.org’s page on this letter-writing campaign at

and click on the “Go” button.
From there you can send a text prepared by ADC, or your own message,
to the President and Secretary of State demanding action be taken
against Israel for these assassinations.
Original letters carry more weight, but the ADC text is a fine
alternative. Letters can also be sent to the President at and the Secretary of State at
.
Please help to generate as many letters as possible on this important
issue.
TEXT OF ADC’S SAMPLE LETTER:
Dear President Bush and Secretary Powell:
Over the past eleven months, Israeli death squads have assassinated
over fifty Palestinian Political leaders and activists under the guise
of combating terrorism. At least ten bystanders, including children,
have also been among the victims of these attacks.
In most of these attacks, Israeli security and military personnel used
American-made and supplied weapons in contravention of the Fourth
Geneva Convention of 1949 and in direct violation of United States
laws. The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) stipulates that
American-supplied weapons may only be used for internal security and
legitimate self-defence purposes. American law also prevents the
assassination of political leaders by state agencies and personnel.
Therefore, the U.S. government cannot continue to stand idly by while
Israel proceeds to violate Palestinian human rights with impunity by
using U.S.-made weapons in violation of American and international
laws.
We strongly urge you to investigate this patently illegal use of
American-made arms by Israel pursuant to the formal determination by
the U.S. State Department regarding Israel’s non-compliance with
American laws and to inform Congress promptly of any such violations,
as stipulated by the AECA. The Bush Administration must ensure total
compliance with U.S. laws by all recipients of U.S. foreign
assistance, including Israel.
MORE BACKGROUND FROM ABC NEWS:
http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/dailynews/israelweapons_010828.html
U.S. Weapons Come with Strings Attached Israel Told Its Use of
U.S.-made Arms on Palestinians May Violate Law
Aug. 28 The United States has told Israel that a report may have to be
sent to Congress indicating it is improperly using American-made
weapons for killing Palestinian leaders, a senior State Department
official told ABCNEWS today.
The Arms Export Control Act requires that U.S.-supplied weapons
obtained by foreign countries be used only for “legitimate
self-defense.” In the event of substantial violations, the executive
branch is required to notify Congress.
Congress would have to decide if it wanted to impose some sort of
punishment.
Palestinians argue recent attacks by helicopters and fighter aircraft
were offensive operations. The Israeli government contends they were
defensive, targeting the planners of recurring terror attacks against
Israel citizens.
No Determination Yet
So far, the U.S. government has not decided whether American arms are
being misused.
“We have not made any determination or decisions that the provisions
of
the law might have been violated,” said State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher.
He noted the act also permits use of U.S. weapons for “internal
security.”
Boucher said U.S. officials were not urging the Israelis to stop using
U.S. weapons for the killings, per se, but rather, to stop the attacks
altogether.
“The focus of our discussions with the Israelis is on calming the
situation and ending the violence. That remains the subject of
discussion,” he said.
But he added, “We do think that the use of heavy weaponry in populated
areas runs a high risk of civilian casualties, and we have been
opposed
to it.”
Pressure on the U.S. for Action
The issue has become an increasingly thorny one for the United States
government, drawing increased condemnation from Arab countries.
“It does have a negative factor in the region, when the Arabs equate
Israeli killings with the United States,” says Robert Malley of the
Center for Middle East Peace.
The United States is the principal supplier of weapons to Israel,
providing some $5.2 billion in arms over the last four years, financed
largely by annual grants of military aid by Congress. Such weapons
include F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft and attack helicopters.
In recent days, senior U.S. officials, including President Bush, have
used increasingly stronger language to urge the Israelis to stop the
targeted killings, arguing that they undermine efforts to make peace
between the two sides and hamper efforts to prevent an all-out Middle
East war from raging.
But those admonitions went ignored Monday, when U.S.-made Apache
helicopters were used to target and kill a senior Palestinian
activist.
ABCNEWS’ Martha Raddatz at the State Department and David Ruppe
contributed to this report.

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