Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021

Progressive Democrats led by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan and Rashida Tlaib are pushing for a legislation to block a new $735-million arms sale to Israel.

(photo courtesy: http://www.reuters.com)

The progressive lawmakers have been among the most vocal in opposition to Israel’s past campaign targeting Palestinian militant group Hamas with airstrikes in the self-governing Palestinian territory that lasted for 11 days from May 10. Both sides have agreed to a ceasefire.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 227 Palestinians, including 64 children, were killed while more than 1,600 others were wounded. The Israeli foreign ministry announced two civilians were killed Wednesday, lifting its death toll to 12.

The trio introduced a legislation days after it was reported on Monday that the Biden administration approved the sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel with Congress being notified of the proposed deal May 5.

“For decades, the U.S. has sold billions of dollars in weaponry to Israel without ever requiring them to respect basic Palestinian rights,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “In so doing, we have directly contributed to the death, displacement and disenfranchisement of millions. At a time when so many, including President Biden, support a ceasefire, we should not be sending ‘direct attack’ weaponry to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to prolong this violence.”

Tlaib, who is a Palestinian American, said the truth is that when the United States sells its weapons to Israel it does so with the understanding that they will be used to bomb Gaza.

“Approving this sale now, while failing to even try to use it as leverage for a cease-fire, sends a clear message to the world – the U.S. is not interested in peace, and does not care about the human rights and lives of Palestinians,” the Michigan lawmaker said. “You cannot claim to support human rights and peace on Earth and continue to back the extremist Netanyahu regime, it’s that simple.”

The office of New York lawmaker Ocasio-Cortez said that Congress has 15 days to submit and vote on a resolution of disapproval of the arms sale, which concerning this sale concludes Thursday, but that they may still block or modify the deal up to the arms’ delivery.

The resolution is supported by dozens of organizations including IfNotNow, a group of American Jews against Israel’s military rule of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.”Biden should not sell the Israeli government more missiles to fire on Gaza,” it said in a tweet. “Killing Palestinian children will not make Jewish children safe.” SOVEREIGNPH

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