Jerusalem24– Several members of US Congress sent a letter – the second this week – to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling on the US administration to take action and stop the Israeli government from displacing over 1,000 Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta region.
The letter, led by Congresswoman Cori Bush, was also signed by a number of Democrats, including Andre Carson, Pramila Jayapal, Betty McCollum, Marie Newman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Mark Pocan, Ayanna Pressley, and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib.
The letter notes that if the displacement of Palestinians continues, the US State Department and the US Embassy in Israel should immediately pursue oversight and accountability as required by the Leahy Law and the Arms Export and Controls Act. This will involve sending observers to document the mass transfer, including details of the military units involved and whether any US weapons or equipment was used.
The Leahy Law prohibits US assistance to foreign militaries suspected of committing “gross violations of human rights.” The Act enables the administration to force oversight of and also restrict Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians, according to the lawmakers.
The Congress letter was supported by dozens of civil society groups including Jewish Voice for Peace, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, IfNotNow, and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.