Iaf F-16

Amnesty International has urged the US to immediately stop fuel shipments to Israel, as the latter intends to use it in fighter jets and military vehicles.

The organisation has been calling for a temporary halt on supply of weapons to Israel to stop the ‘war crimes’ committed by the country in Gaza.

Amnesty International Arms Control and Human Rights head Brian Wood said: "By continuing to supply fuel for military vehicles and fighter jets being used in attacks resulting in mounting civilian deaths and horrific injuries, the US Government will have more blood on its hands.

"The US and Iran are both guilty of enabling violations of international law by providing military support to the conflicting parties.

"Instead of continuing to send shipments of fuel and arms to the Israeli military, the US must immediately suspend all such transfers and back an international investigation into the atrocities being carried out by both sides."

According to Amnesty, a US fuel tanker is currently sailing near Azores and will arrive in Israel on 12 August.

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The US-flagged oil tanker Overseas Mykonos left the port of Corpus Christi in Texas on 23 July to Ashkelon, Amnesty said, citing documents provided by TransArms in Chicago and the International Peace Information Service in Antwerp.

"By continuing to supply fuel for military vehicles and fighter jets being used in attacks …. the US Government will have more blood on its hands."

The US made nine fuel shipments to Israel between 2013 and 2014, with the latest delivery by the oil tanker, Overseas Santorini, arriving in Ashkelon on 14 July. The tanker supplied 9.6 million gallons of jet fuel.

Israel requested the US to supply 864 million gallons of jet propulsion (JP)-8 aviation fuel for $2.7m, in April 2013.

The fuel is being used for F-16 fighters that are being used by the Israeli Air Force for aerial strikes in Gaza, Amnesty alleged.

At least 1,800 Palestinians, 64 Israeli soldiers, two Israeli civilians and one Thai national have been killed since the offensive in Gaza began early last month.

Meanwhile, Israel has announced the withdrawal of its soldiers to ‘defensive positions’ on the Gaza border as a three-day ceasefire proposed by Egypt came into effect today.

Israeli military spokesman lieutenant colonel Peter Lerner said: "The Israel Defence Forces will be redeployed in defensive positions outside the Gaza Strip and we will maintain those defensive positions."

Officials from the two sides are heading to Cairo for talks aimed at ending the conflict.

Image: The US fuel shipments include JP-8 fuel for Israeli Air Force F16 jets that are being used in current Gaza conflict. Photo: © EPA.

Defence Technology