Valero Energy Corporation is a Texas-based fuel company with over a dozen refineries in the US, Canada, Britain, and the Caribbean. It is on the Pentagon’s “Top 100” suppliers list and supplies jet and diesel fuel to the US military.
Valero is also one of the Israeli military’s largest fuel suppliers. The company won US Department of Defense 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 over $645 million. It provides Israel with kerosene-based jet propulsion fuel called JP-8 which powers Israel’s AH-64 attack helicopters, its F-15 and F-16 fighter/bombers, as well as its Merkava tanks. Valero also supplies the Israeli military with EN590 diesel fuel for use in its jeeps, heavy trucks, and other equipment.
Apache helicopters, and F-15 and F-16 jets are implicated by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations in human rights violations and war crimes committed by the Israeli military in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza, in which hundreds of civilians were killed and hundreds of millions of dollars of civilian infrastructure destroyed. In the 2002 Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp, the 2006 Lebanon war, and during Operations Cast Lead (2008-9) and Pillar of Defense (2012), UN missions and the human rights community recorded hundreds of civilian casualties from missiles launched from these aircraft, and ruled these attacks to constitute war crimes and at times crimes against humanity.
These same weapons were used against Gazans in Operation Protective Edge in 2014. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2192 Palestinians were killed during the 50 days of Protective Edge, including numerous whole families. More than 20,000 housing units were destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless. In its report on Operaton Protective Edge, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that the destruction to both property and civilian life as the result of air strikes could "amount to a violation of the principle of distinction...[and] may also constitute a direct attack against civilian objects or civilians, a war crime under international criminal law." Warplane airstrikes, including those from F-16s, killed at least 225 children according to a report by Defense for Children International. The same report indicated that at least 13 children were killed directly by Apache helicopters.