Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday responded to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) letter to the U.S. State Department that asked for an investigation into Israeli and Egyptian human rights abuses.
“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and the Israel Police do not engage in executions. Israel’s soldiers and police officers defend themselves and innocent civilians with the highest moral standards against bloodthirsty terrorists who come to murder them,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“Where is the concern for the human rights of the many Israelis who’ve been murdered and maimed by these savage terrorists? This letter should have been addressed instead to those who incite youngsters to commit cruel acts of terrorism,” added the prime minister.
Leahy—along with 10 other members of Congress—in the letter listed several examples of alleged “gross violations of human rights” by Israel, including “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians, Politico reported. That language on executions echoes the controversial criticism of Israel voiced earlier this year by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom.
“In light of these reports, we request that you act promptly to determine their credibility and whether they trigger the Leahy Law and, if so, take appropriate action called for under the law,” the lawmakers wrote.
The “Leahy Law” stipulates a reduction in U.S. military aid for foreign countries whose security forces are found to have committed abuses.