Amnesty International's investigation claims that a US-made weapons guidance system was employed in two Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in October, resulting in the alleged death of 43 civilians. According to a report released by the human rights organization, fragments of the US-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions guidance system were discovered in the debris of homes destroyed in the Deir al-Balah neighborhood in central Gaza.
While Israel utilizes a broad range of American weapons and munitions, this report from Amnesty International represents one of the initial efforts to link an American-made weapon directly to a specific attack that resulted in a significant number of civilian casualties.
The US Air Force describes the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) as a "guidance tail kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurate, adverse weather ‘smart’ munitions."
According to Amnesty International, its weapons experts and a "remote sensing analyst" scrutinized satellite imagery and photos of homes, revealing "fragments of ordnance recovered from the rubble" and the resultant destruction. The report specifies that the photos were captured by Amnesty's fieldworkers. The report alleges that as a consequence of these two airstrikes, 19 children, 14 women, and 10 men lost their lives.
In response to the report, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) labeled it as "flawed, biased, and premature," asserting that it relies on "baseless assumptions" regarding IDF operations. The IDF statement to CNN emphasized that the report's assumption about the lack of intelligence on military use until revealed is contradictory to the understanding of the military activity. The IDF criticized the report for drawing "equally flawed and biased conclusions," citing existing biases and past problematic work by Amnesty International.
The military statement expressed regret for any harm to civilians or property resulting from its operations, emphasizing a commitment to learning and improvement. Amnesty International, in its report, considers the use of American weapons for these strikes as "an urgent wake-up call to the Biden administration." According to Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, the report contends that the US-made weapons facilitated mass killings of extended families.
Spokesperson Matt Miller stated that the US State Department is currently reviewing Amnesty International's report. He emphasized the deep concern expressed in discussions with Israeli leaders regarding the protection of civilians in the conflict. Miller underscored the expectation for Israel to target only legitimate targets and adhere to the laws of armed conflict.
According to CNN spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told journalists, "We are going to continue to consult closely with our Israeli partners on the importance of taking civilian safety into account in conducting their operations."
Image source: ANI