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US senator seeks aid cuts to Israeli army units

Aug. 16, 2011 12:06 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2011 1:19 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- A US senator is promoting legislation which would cut aid to Israeli army units accused of committing human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday.

Senator Patrick Leahy says that various Israeli elite units such as the Shayetet 13, Duvdevan and Shaldag airforce are involved in human rights violations and should not receive US financial assistance.

The US senator was a strong supporter of a 1997 bill which prohibited the US from providing military or financial aid to foreign military units suspected of war crimes and human rights abuses, Haaretz reported.

Leahy has said that several elite Israeli military units are responsible for harming Palestinian civilians and no system of investigation exists to hold them accountable for human rights abuses.

The Democrat has been an advocate of human rights worldwide and strongly criticized Israel over Operation Cast Lead, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.

Rights groups estimate that the United States gives Israel around $3 billion per year in foreign aid, military and economic grants.
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