US has ‘undeniable complicity’ in Gaza war killings, say American ex-officials

12 government workers who quit jobs in State, Education, Interior departments, White House and the military claim US weapons supply makes Washington culpable

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers fire mortar shells towards targets in the Gaza Strip near the border with the Gaza Strip on February 8, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Illustrative: Israeli soldiers fire mortar shells towards targets in the Gaza Strip near the border with the Gaza Strip on February 8, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

A dozen former US government officials who quit over their country’s support for Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday accused US President Joe Biden’s administration of “undeniable complicity” in the killing of Palestinians in the enclave.

In a joint statement, the 12 former government officials said the administration was violating US laws through its support for Israel and finding loopholes to continue shipping weapons to its ally.

“America’s diplomatic cover for, and continuous flow of arms to, Israel has ensured our undeniable complicity in the killings and forced starvation of a besieged Palestinian population in Gaza,” the former officials said in the statement.

They urged the US government to use its “necessary and available leverage” to bring the war to an end and to ensure the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners in Israel. They also demanded that the US government support Palestinian self-determination and fund an “immediate expansion of humanitarian assistance” in Gaza.

Both the White House and the State Department had no immediate comment on the statement.

There has been mounting international criticism of Israel’s conduct in Gaza and of US military and diplomatic support for its ally in the war, which began on October 7 when the Palestinian terror group Hamas led a devastating cross-border attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people and saw 251 taken hostage to the Gaza Strip.

Displaced Palestinians walk past destroyed buildings in al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on June 12, 2024. (Eyad BABA / AFP)

Israel responded with a military campaign to destroy Hamas, topple its Gaza regime, and free the hostages.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 38,000 people in the Strip have been killed or are presumed dead in the fighting so far, though the toll cannot be verified and does not differentiate between civilians and fighters. Israel says it has killed some 15,000 combatants in battle and some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel during the October 7 attack.

The resignations of the 12 US officials reflected dissent within the government over its support for Israel. Washington has pushed for the protection of civilians in Gaza and has called on Israel to improve aid access.

Among the people who signed the joint statement were former members of the State Department, Education Department, Interior Department, White House, and the military.

This picture taken from the central Gaza Strip town of al-Zawaida shows smoke billowing following an Israeli strike south of Gaza City, on June 11, 2024. (Eyad BABA / AFP)

Weapon deliveries have been a source of friction between Washington and Jerusalem, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month publicly claiming the US has been “withholding” weapons shipments from Israel.

Washington denied the assertion and insisted that it has only held up one transfer of heavy bombs that Biden didn’t want the IDF using in the densely populated Gaza city of Rafah, though it acknowledged last week that there had been some bottlenecks.

Last week the Haaretz daily published figures it said showed the number of US weapons shipments to Israel had dropped significantly after the first four months of the Israel-Hamas war. The report came as Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and the Biden administration announced separately that progress had been made toward resolving what Jerusalem considers to be an insufficient flow of arms.

The war has caused widespread damage to Gaza’s infrastructure, including residential buildings, and most of its 2.3 million population is displaced. There have also been claims of widespread hunger in Gaza, though little evidence to back them up. The war has led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

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