Group of US lawmakers calls for probe of alleged Israeli rights violations

Group of nearly a dozen US politicians pens letter to Obama administration requesting inquiry, Politico reports.

March 30, 2016 11:25
1 minute read.
Tekoa idf

IDF forces conduct search after a Palestinian assailant stabbed an Israeli woman in Tekoa, January 18, 2016. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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A group of nearly a dozen US lawmakers have recently requested the Obama administration investigate allegations claiming that security forces from Israel and Egypt have committed “gross violations of human rights,” according to a Politico report published Tuesday. 

According to the report, the American political news outlet on Tuesday obtained a letter signed by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and 10 members of the US House of Representatives that lists alleged examples of suspected human rights abuses by the two nations' militaries.

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“In light of these reports we request that you act promptly to determine their credibility and whether they trigger the Leahy Law and, if so, take appropriate action called for under the law,” Politico quotes the letter as saying

The letter dated February 17 called for the US government to check purported instances of such violations including reported unspecified extrajudicial killings by Israeli and Egyptian forces. The petition also mentioned violations specifically by Egypt, such as forced disappearances of dissidents, when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned without due legal process. 

Politico reported that it had obtained the letter from an organization that "provided input for it."

The Vermont senator's signature on the request was noted as he penned a law that conditions US military aid to foreign countries based on their human right's records.

According to Politico, the US could possibly choose to alter its military aid to Israel and Egypt if the allegations are proven.


The letter emerged less than a week after an IDF soldier videotaped firing a shot to the head of a subdued Palestinian terrorist spurred controversy.

The impact of the inquiry could cause damage to Israel, which describes itself as the Middle East's only true democracy, if it is seen as being lumped among notorious human rights violators in the region.

Israel and Egypt are respectively the two largest recipients of US military assistance and the two countries together account for 75 percent of all such US aid.

Last year while the US Congress discussed increasing military aid to Egypt, concerns among some US lawmakers were raised over Cairo's crackdown on so-called dissents amid campaigns said to target religious militants.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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