WASHINGTON, D.C. In light of press reports that Israeli forces fired on a United Nations school where civilians were taking shelter, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today sent notice to Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, that Israel's actions in Gaza since December 27th, 2008 may constitute a violation of the requirements of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA).
When the President is aware of the possibility of such violations, the AECA requires a report to Congress on the potential violation(s). The AECA outlines the conditions under which countries may use military articles or services obtained from the U.S. government, which include "internal security" or "legitimate self defense."
The letter offers preliminary evidence that there may be a violation of the requirements of AECA. For example, Israeli forces have used F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters to precede and to support ongoing ground actions such as the one today in which 40 Palestinians were killed while taking shelter in a U.N. facility.
In the letter, Kucinich requests a response by the close of business on January 7, 2009 with the date that the report will be submitted. The full text of the letter follows:
January 5, 2009
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice