Saturday, September 25, 2021

US Lawmakers Look To Block $735M Sale Of Precision-Guided Missiles To Israel

Democrat lawmakers introduced a joint resolution to block the Biden administration’s $735 million sale of precision-guided missiles to Israel as the country continues to battle the Palestinian Hamas movement, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office said in a press release.

“Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, and Rashida Tlaib led the introduction of a House resolution opposing the sale of $735 million in American-made weapons to the Israeli government,” the release said on Wednesday.

The releases said the Joint Direct Attack Munitions being sold to Israel are believed to be used in the ongoing violence that has already claimed the lives of more than 200 Palestinians and ten Israelis, including at least 58 children.

The White House officially notified Congress of the proposed sale on May 5, just a week before violence between Israel and Hamas escalated. US federal law requires the administration to inform Congress of such sales. Lawmakers have 15 days after the formal notification to stop the transaction.

President Joe Biden in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said he expects significant de-escalation in the ongoing conflict. However, Netanyahu said he is determined to continue Israel’s operation in Gaza until calm is restored.

Earlier, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Gaza Strip-based Hamas Islamist movement, said that it had fired rockets at two Israeli airbases.

According to the organization, the strikes hit the Hatzerim and Tel Nof bases.

Recently resumed fighting in East Jerusalem over the planned eviction of Palestinian families has led to the worst violence between Israel and Palestinians in recent years. Palestinian militants have launched several thousand rockets from Gaza toward Israel, which in response has fired retaliatory strikes against the enclave.

The hostilities have killed over 220 Palestinians, including 64 children, and injured about a thousand others. Israel, in turn, has reported 12 killed and over 50 others seriously injured.

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