Bernie Sanders proposes resolution to block arms sales to Israel

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Washington – Senator Bernie Sanders tabled a resolution Thursday to block a proposed $ 735 million sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel as hostilities between Israel and Hamas continue in Gaza.

Sanders’ resolution comes after President Biden met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. has urged in a call on Wednesday to “de-escalate” the conflict. The Israeli government said it did agreed to a ceasefire in conflict with Hamas late Thursday.

“At a moment when US-made bombs are devastating Gaza, killing women and children, we cannot just have another huge arms sale without a debate in Congress,” Sanders said in a statement on Thursday morning. “I believe the United States must help pave the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to examine carefully whether the sale of these weapons actually contributes or whether it is just a fuel. “Conflict.”

The resolution seeks to halt proposed sales of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) and small-diameter bombs. A similar resolution was tabled in the House of Representatives on Wednesday by Democratic MPs Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan and Rashida Tlaib.

The resolution is privileged, which means that Sanders can call it to a vote without having to vote for the legislation first. A simple majority would be required to pass, although it is unclear whether the resolution would receive sufficient Democratic support to be adopted.

However, should it be passed and Mr Biden vetoed the resolution, a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress would be required to lift the veto. Former President Donald Trump previously vetoed three resolutions to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and there were not enough support in Congress to overwrite these vetoes.

Mr Biden is facing pressure from a growing number of Democrats in Congress to take a tougher stance on Israel, arguing that the president is not doing enough to denounce human rights abuses against Palestinians. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes since the conflict began, including dozens of children, and at least 12 Israelis have been killed by Hamas rockets.

In one (n op-ed in the New York Times Last week, Sanders argued that the US should do more to support the Palestinian people rather than “defending the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior”.

“We need to change course and take an impartial approach that upholds and strengthens international law to protect civilians, as well as current US law that the provision of US military aid must not allow human rights violations to occur,” Sanders wrote.

Mr Biden told Netanyahu in a call on Wednesday that he “expects a significant de-escalation in the conflict in Gaza today on the way to a ceasefire,” the White House said. In response to that question, Netanyahu thanked Mr. Biden for his assistance, but said he was “determined to continue this operation until its goal is achieved: to restore peace and security to you, the citizens of Israel.”

Republicans have argued that Mr Biden is not doing enough to stand by Israel, a longtime US ally, in the face of ongoing Hamas aggression. GOP Senator Rick Scott tabled a resolution this week to reaffirm US support for Israel. In a press conference Wednesday, several Republican senators slammed Mr Biden for ceasing to stand up for Israel when Hamas launched a barrage of rockets, most of them from the Iron dome Defense system.

“Israel has the right to defend itself. You are our allies. We’re not going to leave them to this kind of violence. You have the right to defend yourself, “said GOP Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith during the press conference on Wednesday. “President Joe Biden leads people to stand up and express their commitment to Israel.”

Sanders tabled another resolution on Wednesday in response to Scott’s resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between the Israeli forces and Hamas.

Haley Ott and Imtiaz Taib contributed to this report.

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