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Sarah Lazare – Here’s What Happens When a U.S. Senator Calls for Israel to Be Held Accountable for Atrocities

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has piqued the temper of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and faces a rebuke from within his own party after demanding for an investigation into “gross violations of human rights” by Israel and Egypt, the top recipients of American military aid.

Released just days after an Israeli soldier was recorded [3] extra-judicially assassinating a wounded Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Leahy’s demand for a probe is the latest sign that American military backing for Israel’s right-wing government is becoming a source of political tension.

On February 17, Leahy (D-Vt.) and ten Democratic members of Congress sent a letter [4] to Secretary of State John Kerry. “There have been a disturbing number of reports of possible gross violations of human rights by security forces in Israel and Egypt—incidents that may have involved recipients, or potential recipients, of U.S. military assistance,” states the document, which was released to the public in late March. “We urge you to determine if these reports are credible and to inform us of your findings.”

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