- 17 May 21
Beyond arms sales, the US also offers roughly $3.9 billion in annual aid to Israel, which is not conditional on Israel’s human rights records - unlike aid offered to other countries.
The Biden administration has approved the sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel, leading to a shift in the conversation within the Democratic Party surrounding the human rights abuses in Gaza and Palestine.
The arms sale, which Congress was notified of on May 5, a week before the current Israel-Palestinian escalation began, includes Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), which are used to turn bombs into precision-guided missiles, according to the Washington Post.
Numerous House Democrats have questioned the US government’s support for the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the last few days, as the death toll rises to 192 Palestinians this week alone following Israel's relentless bombing campaign.
As it stands, the Palestinian death toll in Gaza climbed to 58 children, according to local health officials. Over 47% of the Gaza population are under the age of 18, with just 17 marking the overall median age in the open-air prison of two million people.
Today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and repeated that Israel must do everything possible in order to avoid civilian casualties.
10 Israelis, including two children, have been killed by rockets launched from Gaza since last Monday.
Blinken added that he has not seen any Israeli evidence of Hamas operating in the Gaza building that housed residences, offices and media organisations – including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press – that Israel hit on Saturday. Blinken stated that he has queried Israel about justification for the airstrike.
The Biden administration has continually supported Israel’s right to “self-defence” amid the violence, while repeatedly vetoing a United Nations Security Council joint statement that would condemn Israel’s actions and call for a ceasefire. This marks the third time that the US has carried out such an act.
This is happening with the support of the United States.
I don’t care how any spokesperson tries to spin this. The US vetoed the UN call for ceasefire.
If the Biden admin can’t stand up to an ally, who can it stand up to?
How can they credibly claim to stand for human rights? https://t.co/bXY99O3Wqp
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 15, 2021