Some lawmakers say the latest arms sales in the United States could be used as a lever in Israel to end the violence.
Some U.S. lawmakers are wondering if an administration of President Joe Biden could approve the sale of weapons to Israel by the administration of President Joe Biden worth $ 735 million. bombing from the Gaza Strip, the Washington Post reported.
The arms sale, which was notified to Congress on May 5, a week before the current Israeli-Palestinian escalation began, includes joint direct-attack (JDAM) ammunition, which is used to convert accurately guided missile bombs, according to the newspaper.
Some lawmakers and aides said the sale could spark opposition in Congress, where criticism of the Biden administration’s support for Israel amid deadly confrontation has been more frequent.
“Allowing this proposal to sell smart bombs without pressuring Israel to accept the ceasefire will only allow one more massacre,” a House Foreign Affairs Committee lawmaker told the newspaper.
Under U.S. law, the administration is required to notify Congress of these sales. Then lawmakers have 20 days to pass a resolution opposing sales.
At least 198 Palestinians in Gaza, including 58 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes since the May 10 escalation began.
At least ten Israelis, including two children, have been killed in rocket attacks from Gaza.
Hamas and other armed groups began firing rockets at Israel on Monday last week, following protests over the imminent forced expulsion of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood in East Jerusalem, and the ensuing attacks by Israeli security forces. on the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Annual aid in question
On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, urged all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and reiterated that Israel has an additional burden to do everything to avoid civilian casualties.
Blinken added that he has not seen any Israeli evidence that Hamas acted in the Gaza building that housed residences, offices and media organizations, including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press, that Israel struck on Saturday. Blinken says he has asked Israel to justify the strike.
However, the Biden administration has continually insisted on Israel’s right to “self-defense” amid violence repeatedly veto a joint UN Security Council statement condemning Israel’s actions and calling for a ceasefire.
The stance has garnered criticism from some in the Democratic Party who accuse Biden of ignoring Israeli abuses in favor of the long-standing alliance.
Beyond arms sales, the U.S. provides about $ 3.8 billion annually in aid to Israel. This aid, unlike other countries, is not conditional on Israel’s human rights records.
A group of progressive lawmakers in the Democratic Party has it more and more questioned the American support, once considered sacrosanct.
Still, several congressional aides told the Washington Post that even if a resolution is introduced to oppose the more recent arms sale, it is unlikely to get enough support to pass it.