Harm to Palestinians
U.S. military aid harms Palestinians.
- The Israeli military uses munitions purchased with U.S. military aid including bullets, tear gas canisters, helicopter gunships and F-16 fighter jets on Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
- Demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza—as well as within Israel proper—have rendered thousands of families homeless.
- Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are dependent on Israel’s militarized “security” presence.
- Aid to Israel from the U.S. frees up Israel’s own funds to be used for instruments of occupation such as the “security barrier.”
Israel has used U.S. weapons in violation of U.S. and international law to kill and injure Palestinian civilians, destroy Palestinian civil infrastructure, deprive Gazans of freedom and basic necessities, and build illegal settlements on expropriated Palestinian land.
The Israeli military uses munitions purchased with U.S. military aid including bullets, tear gas canisters, helicopter gunships and F-16 fighter jets on Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
• Between September 29, 2000 and August 31, 2010 6,408 Palestinians were killed, 1,315 of whom were minors. 
• The Humanitarian Monitor, a publication of The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, issued every several months, documents the ongoing impact of the occupation on Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories. 
According to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an estimated 24,813 “Palestinian structures” have been demolished in the occupied territories since 1967. The largest portion, 65.5 percent, are demolished by the Israel Defense Forces “in the course of military operations for the purposes of clearing off a piece of land (for whatever reason), to achieve a military goal or to kill wanted persons as part of Israel’s policy of extrajudicial executions.” 
Houses are also destroyed because they lack building permits or for punitive reasons, to punish someone associated with a house. The IDF often uses Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to carry out home demolitions.
Most Israeli settlements are established on illegally-acquired Palestinian land. Palestinians, understandably, have resisted the seizure of their own land, so settlement expansion has depended on the presence of the Israeli military to “protect” the settlers from Palestinian attempts to prevent their own dispossession and displacement. The Israeli military presence has restricted Palestinians’ freedom of movement within their own territory so that Israeli settlers may move uninhibited. The presence of Jewish-only settlements has been both a cause and a pretext for the proliferation of Israeli military activity in Palestinian areas. In financially supporting Israeli militarization, the U.S. has not only tolerated, but directly promoted the presence and expansion of the very settlements it opposes as a matter of policy.  Reports of recent Israeli “settlement freezes” are largely misinformation, as research by Peace Now and other organizations shows. 
The barrier constructed by Israel outside its internationally-recognized borders not only aids Israel’s ongoing process of seizing Palestinian land, it also deprives Palestinians of water, limits their access to agricultural lands and reduces their access to health care. Israel’s access to vast economic resources through U.S. military aid allows it to earmark other funds for discriminatory uses such as the construction of the “security barrier.” John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argue in their book, The Israeli Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy that because “Israel is the only recipient of U. S. economic aid that does not have to account for how it is spent … this exemption makes it virtually impossible for the United States to prevent its subsidies from being used for purposes it opposes.”  The authors quote Clyde Mark in his Congressional Research Service study, “Israel: U. S. Foreign Assistance”: “Because U. S. economic aid is given to Israel as direct government-to-government budgetary authority without any specific project accounting, and money is fungible, there is no way to tell how Israel uses U.S. aid.” 
Phyllis Bennis in her primer, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict notes, “The US government quietly criticized the Wall early in its process of construction, but soon dropped the critique and agreed, in direct violation of the [International Criminal] Court’s ruling on the obligation of other states, to pay Israel almost $50 million – taken out of the $200 million the U.S. provided in humanitarian support to Palestinian NGOs – to construct checkpoints and gates in the Wall.” 
Former CIA analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison summarize the overall impact of the “security barrier” with these words: “Although Israeli settlements in the West Bank are the heart of the occupation and the tangible evidence of Israel’s intention to maintain control over the entire territory, the Wall puts a seal on Israel’s huge physical presence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and gives a further aura of permanence to the spreading imprint of the settlements. While construction and expansion of the settlements have involved confiscation of large tracts of Palestinian land, the Wall has probably directly affected larger numbers of Palestinians by impeding movement, by destroying their livelihoods and often their homes, by constricting their very lives, by imposing on them a system of separation reminiscent of the worst discriminatory regimes in the world.” 
Water Approximately 85 percent of the “security barrier” when completed will run inside the West Bank and East Jerusalem rather than on the Green Line; as a result of the location of the barrier, as much as 90 percent of the available water in the West Bank falls on Israel’s side of the wall. 
Mark Zeitoun in his book, Power and Water in the Middle East: the Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israel Water Conflict has written, “Israel has implemented a policy of stringent restrictions on Palestinian access to water. The growing West Bank settlements consume vast quantities of water while their Palestinian neighbors are denied such levels of consumption.”  The “security barrier” encloses a number of the largest settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Limited access to agricultural lands: The “security barrier” separates many Palestinian farmers, especially in the northern West Bank, from their land. This farming land which is between the Barrier and the Green Line has been declared a “closed military area” or “Seam Zone.” These farmers must obtain a permit in order to go through one of the Barrier gates, which are open only for a limited period during the day. OCHA in its special focus study, The Impact of the Barrier on Health (July 2010) reports “UN monitoring in the northern West Bank has revealed that the combination of the restricted allocation of ‘visitor’ permits and the limited number and opening times of the Barrier gates have severely curtailed agricultural practice and undermined rural livelihoods. Data submitted by the Israeli State Attorney to the HCJ indicated that the number of permits issued to Palestinian farmers to access the ‘Seam Zone’ in the northern West Bank between 2006 and mid-2009 sharply decreased.” 
Restricted access to health care: The six hospitals in East Jerusalem are the main providers of specialized care to the population of the Occupied Territories. Augusta Victoria Hospital for dialysis and oncology; Maqassed Hospital for open-heart surgery; St. Joseph Hospital for neurosurgery; Red Crescent and Maqassed Hospital for neonatal intensive care; St. John hospital for eye surgery; and Princess Basma Hospital for rehabilitation for handicapped children. OCHA in its special focus study, The Impact of the Barrier on Health, says, “Since 2007, with the completion of much of the Barrier in the Jerusalem area, the possibilities for those without permits to access the city for medical care are significantly reduced; for those with permits, access is channeled through designated Barrier checkpoints only. West Bank residents are only allowed to use three out of the 14 checkpoints: Qalandiya, Gilo and Zaytoun. The checking procedures are arduous and queues can be long; in particular during rush hour.” 
Because of the “security barrier” medical staff and students also have restricted access to these hospitals. “Hospital employees from the West Bank must cross the checkpoints on foot and use public transport to reach their hospitals, entailing long delays, and periodic refusals, leading to chronic lateness and disruption in the efficient functioning of the hospitals.” Even students at Al Quds medical school who wish to do their training in these specialized hospitals have difficulty in gaining access as 90 percent of them are from the West Bank and need permits to attend these hospitals. “In June 2010, Al Quds medical school reported that 11 students could not continue their training in East Jerusalem because the Israeli authorities had refused to renew their permits.” 
 B’Tselem, Fatalities: Israel and the Occupied Territories, September 29, 2000-present, www.btselem.org/english/statistics/casualties.asp
 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Protection of Civilians Weekly Report, http://www.ochaopt.org/reports.aspx?id=118
 The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Statistics on House Demolitions, 1967-2010, http://www.icahd.org/?page_id=5508
 Foundation for Middle East Peace, “Statements on American Policy toward Settlements by U.S. Government Officials – 1968-2009,” http://www.fmep.org/analysis/analysis/israeli-settlements-in-the-occupied-territories
 Foundation for Middle East Peace, “Peace Now Refutes News Stories of Settlement Freeze,” August 18, 2009, http://www.fmep.org/analysis/analysis/peace-now-refutes-news-stories-of-settlement-freeze
 Mearsheimer, John and Stephen Walt, The Israeli Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007, p. 28.
 Mark, Clyde R., “Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance,” Congressional Research Service Publication No. 85066, October 31, 1996, www.fas.org/man/crs/85-066.htm, p. 7.
 Bennis, Phyllis, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Olive Branch Press, 2009, pp. 45-46.
 Christison, Kathleen and Bill, Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation. Pluto Press, 2009, pp. 59-60.
 Christison, Kathleen and Bill, Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation. Pluto Press, 2009, p. 55.
 Zeitoun, Mark, Power and Water in the Middle East: the Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israel Water Conflict, London: I. B. Tauris, 2008, p. 84.
 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, “The Impact of Barrier on Health,” July, 2010, http://www.ochaopt.org/postdetails.aspx?id=4770066, p. 5.
 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, “The Impact of Barrier on Health,” July, 2010, http://www.ochaopt.org/postdetails.aspx?id=4770066, p. 10.
 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, “The Impact of Barrier on Health,” July, 2010, http://www.ochaopt.org/postdetails.aspx?id=4770066, p. 13.