Biden Admin Delays Report on Israel’s Wartime Conduct in Gaza, Aides Reveal

Politico has reported that the Biden administration has decided to delay releasing a report that investigated whether Israel has violated international and U.S. humanitarian law as part of its ongoing war in Gaza.

The media outlet cited multiple Senate and House aides in its story. The report was originally supposed to be released on Wednesday.

The Department of State has been working on this report for the last few months, and is expected to determine whether Israel has committed any violations since the war broke out in October of last year.

If it’s determined that Israel has violated the law, it’s expected that the U.S. will completely stop sending the country weapons and other military assistance.

The aides told Politico that the State Department won’t be finished with the report this week. The White House confirmed as such to media outlet The Hill this week, but did not provide a reason why it would be delayed.

In an email, Biden administration officials said the report would only be “briefly delayed.”

Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the State Department, told reports on Tuesday that the report wasn’t completed yet. But, he added:

“We are trying very hard to meet that deadline. … It’s possible it slips just a little bit, but we are trying to get it done by tomorrow.”

The deadline, according to Miller, was self-imposed and wasn’t a requirement.

A senior official with the Biden administration said it’s expected that the report will “be delayed by less than a week.”

President Joe Biden has already said that the U.S. would stop supplying Israel with weapons if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moves forward with his planned invasion of Rafah. The southern Gaza city is home to roughly 1.4 million Palestinians who have been displaced from other parts of the enclave due to the war.

International aid groups have said that many civilians would be at risk, and humanitarian operations would be devastated, if Israel invades Rafah.

All of this is happening as more and more people are pressing the Biden administration to stop supporting Israel in its war effort. A group of 185 lawyers — 27 of whom serve in the Biden administration now — sent a letter to some top officials in the U.S., writing that supporting Israel with weapons is illegal.

Last week, a group of 57 Democrats urged Biden to “withhold certain offensive military aid” as an effort to deter the Rafah invasion. Another 88 Democrats urged Biden to consider using his power to “suspend certain transfers” of those offensive weapons so Israel would allow additional humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Some possible actions that lawmakers could take include legislation that would block all arms transfers, attempting to have America undergo the process of determining compliance, or demanding documentation and an explanation from the Biden administration on why it was still supporting Israel.