While the US announced it would be asking Congress to approve an additional $75 million dollars in assistance for the reconstruction of Gaza in 2021, the State Department has approved a $735-million sale of bombs to ‘Israel’.
The Jewish Currents reported that on May 21st, according to a congressional staffer, the department granted Boeing an export license for the sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs—two kinds of laser-guided munitions that were reportedly used by ‘Israel’ in the 11-day aggression on the Gaza Strip that ended on Friday.
At least 279 Palestinians were killed, including 69 children and 40 women, and 1,910 others injured in the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
More than 90,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes, and much of Gaza’s infrastructure and many residential buildings were completely destroyed or levelled.
Palestinian health ministry:
19 families in the Gaza Strip have also been wiped off the population civil registry, including 45 children, after the Israeli bombardment on residential areas.
The Biden administration approval of the $735-million sale of bombs to Israel bypassed congressional opposition, as a group of Democratic Party lawmakers led by Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez introduced a resolution to block the recently announced sale of precision-guided munitions to Israel.
“At a time when so many, including our President, support a ceasefire, we should not be sending ‘direct attack’ weaponry to Prime Minister Netanyahu to prolong this violence. It is long past time to end the US policy of unconditional military arms sales, particularly to governments that have violated human rights,” read an email from Ocasio-Cortez’s office obtained by Jewish Currents that called on her congressional colleagues to support her bill.
In a press release about the resolution, Ocasio-Cortez added, “For decades, the US has 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.”
“The United States should not be rubber-stamping weapons sales to the Israeli government as they deploy our resources to target international media outlets, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian sites for bombing,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Wednesday.
“We have a responsibility to protect human rights.”
The approval of the export license for the arms sale, which progressive legislators tried to block, immediately spurred opposition from Senator Bernie Sanders, as he was notified that the sale had gone through and responded by placing a hold on all State nominees, a Jewish Currents writer reported.
After the administration committed to humanitarian aid for the rebuilding of Gaza, Sanders lifted the hold.
Sanders said “simply returning to the pre-war status quo was insufficient…the deeper causes…such as the Gaza blockade and evictions in Jerusalem, needed to be addressed.”
“Support or oppose the sale, everyone should be concerned about the complete lack of congressional oversight involved here,” Rashida Tlaib told Alex Kane, the Jewish Current writer.
She added, “The State Department should immediately revoke approval for this arms sale to, at minimum, allow for proper debate in Congress.”
“The State Department’s decision to ignore congressional concerns and approve the sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits to Israel is remarkably tone-deaf and callous,” said Betty McCollum.
BREAKING NEWS: The State Dept. granted Boeing an export license to sell $735 million in bombs to Israel, a Congressional staffer told me, bypassing Dem. opposition. Sen. Sanders placed a hold on State nominees in response, but lifted the hold today.
(Source / 26.05.2021)