April 13, 2024
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J’lem Must Sign Promise to Abide by Int’l Law While Using US Weapons

(JNS) Israel has until mid-March to sign a letter assuring the U.S. it will abide by international law when using U.S. weapons, Axios reported, citing unnamed U.S. and Israeli officials.

The Biden administration provided the letter requiring Israel’s signature on Tuesday, Feb. 27, three officials told the news site.

Written assurances are required under a Feb. 8 memorandum issued by President Joe Biden and titled “National Security Memorandum on Safeguards and Accountability With Respect to Transferred Defense Articles and Defense Services.”

“I am issuing this memorandum, which requires the Secretary of State to obtain certain credible and reliable written assurances from foreign governments receiving defense articles and, as appropriate, defense services, from the Departments of State and Defense,” the president states in the memorandum.

While it doesn’t single out Israel, the memorandum came about after some Democratic senators pressured the administration over the Israeli military campaign in Gaza, Axios said.

The executive decision came after Democratic senators, including Tim Kaine of Virginia and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, proposed an amendment that would have required the president to report to Congress whether countries receiving military equipment acted in compliance with international law.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressed concern that the amendment would split the chamber’s Democratic caucus, asking the White House to instead take executive action, the three officials told Axios.

Israel “anticipates being able to provide the relevant assurances,” a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson said.

 

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