Palestinians inspect the damage of residential buildings after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Senior U.S. officials have expressed doubts to Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding Israel’s claims of adhering to international humanitarian law using U.S.-supplied weapons, according to a revealed memo.

According to an internal State Department memo reviewed by Reuters and reported by the news agency April 27, a nuanced and divided stance is highlighted within the department regarding the “credibility and reliability” of Israel’s assurances.

Under a National Security Memorandum issued by U.S. President Joe Biden in February, Blinken is required to submit a report to Congress by May 8, evaluating the credibility of Israel’s claims, whether they violate U.S. or international law.

By March 24, seven State Department bureaus had submitted their inputs for an initial “options memo” to Blinken. Portions of the memo, not previously disclosed, were classified.


“Some components in the department favored accepting Israel’s assurances, some favored rejecting them and some took no position,” a U.S. official said.

Four bureaus, including Democracy Human Rights & Labor, Global Criminal Justice, Population, Refugees and Migration, and International Organization Affairs, expressed deep concerns about Israel’s alleged non-compliance with international humanitarian law during the Gaza war.

The joint submission highlighted eight instances of Israeli military actions that officials deemed questionable in terms of international law.

These actions included repeatedly striking protected sites and civilian infrastructure, causing “unconscionably high levels of civilian harm to military advantage,” taking little action to investigate violations or to hold to account those responsible for significant civilian harm, and “killing humanitarian workers and journalists at an unprecedented rate.”

Furthermore, the report identified 11 instances where Israeli military actions have arbitrarily restricted humanitarian aid, such as rejecting entire aid trucks due to a single “dual-use” item. The assessment also highlighted artificial limitations on inspections and repeated attacks on humanitarian sites that should be off-limits.

Another submission to the memo reviewed by Reuters, from the Bureau of Political and Military Affairs, highlighted concerns over potential threats to the Israeli regime if U.S. weapons sales were suspended.

USAID officials have also contributed to the memo stating that killing nearly 32,000 people, with approximately two-thirds being civilians, according to the Israel regime itself, could potentially be considered a breach of international humanitarian law.

A report says U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been failing to act on recommendations to suspend assistance to Israeli forces over rights violations.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller confirmed on March 25 that the department has received these commitments, but the State Department will not provide a full assessment of their credibility until the report to Congress on May 8.

The memorandum imposed no new legal requirements but asked the State Department to demand written assurances from countries receiving U.S.-funded weapons that they are not breaching international humanitarian law or obstructing U.S. humanitarian aid.

Biden has the authority to halt or impose restrictions on the transfer of U.S. weapons. Earlier in April for the first time he issued a “false threat” to put conditions on the transfer of U.S. weapons to the occupied territories if it does not take concrete measures to address the critical humanitarian crisis in Gaza. (