US weapons to Israel must be used in accordance with rules, Blinken says

State Department pushing for provision of 13,000 rounds of tank ammunition

Antony Blinken said international rules for using weapons 'apply to Israel as they do to any other country'. Getty Images via AFP
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday it was “imperative” the Israeli military uses US weapons in a manner consistent with international humanitarian law.

The State Department is currently trying to push through the supply of 13,000 rounds of tank ammunition, without any Congressional supervision, for use by Israel's forces as they conduct air and ground operations in the Gaza Strip.

Ordinarily, the US signs off on weapons transfers only if recipients agree these will not be used to target civilians. But the US has until now said the supply of materiel to Israel comes with zero end-use monitoring or restrictions.

“When it comes to the weapons that we transfer, there are rules that go along with them,” Mr Blinken told ABC News.

“Those rules apply to Israel as they do to any other country … including the way they’re used and the need, the imperative of respecting international humanitarian law. In the case of these particular weapons. … Israel is in combat right now with Hamas.”

In a separate interview on CNN, Mr Blinken said it was imperative that Israeli military operations in Gaza protect Palestinian civilians.

The fighting should be followed by a durable peace leading to the formation of a Palestinian state, he added.

Updated: December 10, 2023, 4:11 PM