An Amnesty International investigation alleges that a US-made weapons guidance system was used in two Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in October in which 43 civilians were killed.
Fragments of the US-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) guidance system were found in the rubble of destroyed homes in the Deir al-Balah neighborhood in central Gaza, according to a report released Tuesday (5) by the human rights organization.
Israel uses a wide variety of American weapons and ammunition, but the Amnesty International report is one of the first attempts to link a US-made weapon to a specific attack that left a significant number of civilians dead.
The JDAM is a “guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurate, harsh-weather ‘smart’ munitions,” according to the U.S. Air Force.
A CNN could not independently verify Amnesty International’s information.
Amnesty International said its weapons experts and a “remote sensing analyst” examined satellite images and photographs of the homes that show “ammunition fragments recovered from the rubble” and the destruction, the report explains. Amnesty field investigators took the photos.
As a result of these two attacks, 19 children, 14 women and 10 men were killed, the report states.
The rights organization said it “found no indication that there were any military objectives at the sites” of the airstrikes or that the individuals living in the homes were legitimate military targets.
“The organization concluded that these airstrikes were direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks,” says the report, which calls for the attacks to be investigated as war crimes.
In a note to CNN the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) called the report “flawed, biased and premature, based on unfounded assumptions about IDF operations.”
“The assumption that intelligence regarding the military use of a specific structure does not exist unless it is revealed is contradictory to any understanding of military activity, and the report uses this erroneous assumption to imply equally flawed and biased conclusions regarding the IDF, in line with existing prejudices and previous problematic work of this organization”, says the note.
The statement states that the military “regrets any harm caused to civilians or civilian property as a result of its operations and examines all of its operations in order to learn and improve.”
Amnesty International, in its report, said the use of American weapons for such attacks “should be an urgent warning to the Biden administration.” “US-made weapons have facilitated mass murders of families across the board,” said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, according to the report.
US Review Report
The US State Department is reviewing the Amnesty International report, spokesman Matt Miller said Wednesday.
“We have made clear in our discussions with Israeli leaders that we are deeply concerned about the protection of civilians in this conflict,” Miller said. “We expect Israel to strike only legitimate targets and comply with the laws of armed conflict.”
The Pentagon said Tuesday it was also reviewing the report. “We will continue to consult closely with our Israeli partners on the importance of taking civilian security into account when conducting their operations,” spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters.
Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II, according to the Congressional Research Service. The U.S. on average gives Israel $3 billion in military aid a year, and the Biden administration sought an additional $10.6 billion in military aid in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
PHOTOS: See images of the conflict between Israel and Hamas
Source: CNN Brasil
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