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US Democrats introduce resolution to halt Biden’s arms sale to Israel amid Gaza bombardment

Israeli artillery fires toward the Gaza Strip from a position at the Israeli-Gaza border on May 19, 2021. (Photo via Getty Images)

A group of US Democratic lawmakers have introduced a measure to block President Joe Biden’s plan to supply Israel with millions of dollars of weapons at the time of the Tel Aviv regime’s devastating bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Earlier this week, Biden approved a sale of $735 million worth of precision-guided missiles to Israel.

The controversial plan at the time of Tel Aviv's unprecedented military aggression on the Gaza Strip drew widespread condemnation from rights advocates and progressive legislators, who are demanding that Biden pressure Israel to end its offensive on the populated besieged enclave.

The resolution, led by New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was introduced on Wednesday, seeking to prohibit the "transfer of defense articles, including defense services and technical data" to Israel.

“The United States should not be rubber-stamping weapons sales to the Israel as they deploy our resources to target international media outlets, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian sites for bombing,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez in a Twitter post.

“It is long past time to end the US policy of unconditional military arms sales, particularly to governments that have violated human rights,” said the congresswoman.

She said Washington has for decades “sold billions of dollars in weaponry to Israel without ever requiring them to respect basic Palestinian rights.”

“In so doing, we have directly contributed to the death, displacement and disenfranchisement of millions,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

In a separate statement, Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar said it would be appalling to sell weapons to Israel “without any strings attached."

Omar said that the potential sale would be “seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire.” 

Rashida Tlaib of Michigan said in a separate statement that, “Approving this sale now, while failing to even try to use it as leverage for a ceasefire, sends a clear message to the world — the US is not interested in peace, and does not care about the human rights and lives of Palestinians.”

Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent and has family in the occupied territory, spoke with Biden at a Detroit-area airport on Tuesday during the president’s trip to the state.

The resolution was also co-sponsored by Democrats Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Cori Bush of Missouri, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Betty McCollum.

However, the resolution, which has to clear the House Foreign Affairs Committee and get a floor vote by May 20 to meet the statutory 15-day deadline, is a long shot as a majority of Democrats and Republicans have been outspoken in support for Israel.

In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, Biden told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” according to the White House.

Shortly afterward, Netanyahu, however, said he was determined to continue this operation until its objective is achieved – to restore quiet and security” to the people of Israel.

Netanyahu said he “greatly appreciates the support of the American president.”

Biden and some of his Democratic colleagues have insisted that Israel has the right to defend itself.

A US-based political analyst, however, compared the regime’s atrocities against Palestinian civilians to Nazi war crimes during World War II.

Like the Nazis who leveled the Czech village of Lidice, murdering its men and sending its women and children to concentration camps… Israel has no qualms in meting out collective punishment, and the United States has no hesitancy in supporting it,” Dennis Etler told Press TV on Monday.

The devastating escalation was triggered earlier this month by the Israeli regime forces who forced Palestinian families to vacate their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, followed by violent onslaught on worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque.

After the Palestinian resistance movement retaliated, the occupying regime fired a barrage of missiles targeting civilian areas in the besieged territory, including high-rise buildings housing residential apartments and media houses.

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