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This Texas Company Is Providing the Jet Fuel for Israel’s Assault on Gaza

A new report says San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corporation may be liable for war crimes.

Valero Energy Corporation logo displayed on a smartphone with U.S. currency notes and coins in the background.

A new report calls on United States companies to stop supplying Israel’s military with jet fuel and recommends an embargo to achieve this goal.

“Many credible sources have documented crimes under international law being
committed by Israel in the context of its ongoing military campaign in Gaza,” reads a briefing from the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). “These include indiscriminate attacks leading to massive loss of civilian life and targeting of civilian infrastructure amongst other acts which constitute war crimes. Multiple sources, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and UN human rights experts have documented indiscriminate attacks by air which have resulted in catastrophic civilian casualties.”

SOMO specifically cites Valero Energy Corporation, a San Antonio-based company that owns 15 petroleum refineries located in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Four of them are located in Texas and they all produce jet fuel. In 2023 the company had a revenue of $144 million.

According to USASpending.com, the fuel is transported by the U.S.-based Overseas Shipholding Group. The jet fuel (which is referred to as “JP-8”) is shipped from Corpus Christi, Texas to Ashkelon, Israel by the company, which contracts directly with Israel. The fuel is used by Israel’s Apache attack helicopters, its F-15s, its F-16s, and its Merkava tanks.

“Whether or not companies and executives involved in supplying jet fuel to Israel may incur legal liability for war crimes being perpetrated in Gaza, depends on whether their conduct has a substantial effect on the commission of crimes by the Israeli armed forces and whether the company or its senior executives know or should have known that their conduct has a reasonable likelihood of contributing to the crimes,” the report continues.

The briefing also highlights the legal obligations of states in the wake of the International Court of Justice’s determination that Israel could plausibly be committing genocide.

“Ending the oil supply to Israel would be one of the most effective measures that could be taken in respect of the jet fuel supply chain,” the group concludes. “Given Israel’s domestic capacity to produce jet fuel using imported crude oil, an embargo aimed at preventing atrocities will only be effective if it stops both the export of both jet fuel and crude oil to Israel.”

An American Friends Service Committee investigation found that Valero secured Defense Department contracts to supply Israel with fuel as part of the Foreign Military Sales program from 2001-2004 and in 2008, 2009, and 2012 for a total value of more than $645 million.

Valero also supplies fuel to approximately 7,400 independently owned gas stations branded as Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon in the U.S. and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the U.K. and Ireland. In addition, the company maintains a political action committee to intervene directly in U.S. elections. In the 2022 election, Valero Energy PAC contributed $532,500 to Republican House candidates and $56,500 to Democratic candidates. The PAC has already spent $387,500 on the 2024, with the vast majority of it going to Republicans.

Recipients include Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

In April, activists held a protest outside of Valero’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio over the company’s connection to the genocide. “Not another nickel, not another dime. No more money for Israel’s crimes,” they chanted.

Since Israel’s assault on Gaza began in October, the United States has been gripped by its largest antiwar protests in more than twenty years. Many of these actions have taken place across college campuses, where students have focused on pressuring their schools to divest from Israel and weapons manufacturing.

Inspired by the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s, the BDS movement has targeted corporations connected to Israel in recent years. The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) recently updated its list of boycott targets, but Valero was not on the list.

This week Hamtramck, Michigan became the first U.S. city to fully endorse BDS.

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