New project documents Israel’s violations of U.S. law

Layne Mullett
Director of Media Relations


Visit our newsroom

WASHINGTON, DC (May 8, 2024) – This week, a group of organizations released a new online resource documenting violations of U.S. and international law committed by Israel. Israel is the largest recipient of military funding from the United States over the years, and according to both governmental and civilsociety assessments, it is violating U.S. and international law using U.S. weapons. The groups are calling for an immediate suspension of any transfers of arms to Israel’s government that could be used to harm civilians or commit further war crimes in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, or elsewhere.

The public release of this information coincides with the Biden Administration’s deadline to report to Congress on Israel’s use of U.S. weapons in Gaza. The online tracker documents a series of high-profile violations that have occurred since October of 2023 and are specifically relevant to U.S. laws and policies that relate to arms transfers, international law, and civilian protection. It can be accessed at

“It is not only deeply immoral that the U.S. continues to send weapons to Israel that are used to commit war crimes – it is also illegal,” said Noam Perry, Strategic Research Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee. “The U.S. government is not only in violation of international law, but in violation of its own laws and policies. More than 35,000 Palestinians have died. Congress and the Biden administration should take immediate action to stop funding and arming Israel.”

Advocates point to policies like the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, which prohibits arms transfers if it is “more likely than not” that the arms transfer will aggravate the risk of serious rights abuses; Civilian Harm Incident Response Guidance, which tracks reports of civilian harm by partner governments and applies steps to address concerns; and National Security Memorandum-20 (NSM-20), which requires governments receiving U.S. weapons to provide assurances they will abide by international humanitarian law and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. Some incidents may trigger restrictions in U.S. law such as the Leahy Law, Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act, and Section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act.

“Time and again, the Biden administration has ignored abundant evidence that continuing to unconditionally arm the Israeli military violates both U.S. and international law and the administration’s own arms transfer policies,” said John Ramming Chappell, Advocacy & Legal Fellow at Center for Civilians in Conflict. “As the administration prepares to submit its report on Israel’s compliance with international law, this tracker compiles the violations that should have already compelled the Biden administration to suspend arms transfers.”

The tracker can help journalists, researchers, and government officials get accurate information about the current situation in Gaza and elsewhere. The tracker focuses on the actions of Israel because, although Palestinian militant groups have also violated international law, they are not actively supported by the United States government. 

This resource was developed as a collaboration between members of the Arms Sales Accountability Project. Contributors include American Friends Service CommitteeCenter for Civilians in ConflictInstitute for Middle East Understanding, and Middle East Democracy Center.