United States Independent Senator Bernie Sanders on May 20 introduced a resolution to block the planned $735 million sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel.
“At a moment when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a Congressional debate,” Sanders said in a statement.
The resolution seeks to block the planned sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs, which the President Joe Biden’s administration approved before the violence between the Israeli government and Palestinian militant group Hamas escalated in recent days.
The sale is a small part of the overall U.S. military aid to Israel as the U.S. pledged in a 2016 agreement that it will provide $38 billion in military support to Israel from 2019 to 2028.
“In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior,” Sanders wrote in an opinion article published by the New York Times.
The resolution requires a simple majority in Congress for it to pass. However, if Biden vetoes it, the resolution would then need a two-thirds majority from both chambers.
Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, and Rashida Tlaib introduced a similar resolution last May 19.
“You cannot claim to support human rights and peace on Earth and continue to back the extremist Netanyahu regime, it’s that simple,” Tlaib said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Republicans urge Biden to continue the sales and to reaffirm its alliance with Israel.
On May 20, Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire a day after Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “a significant de-escalation” towards a ceasefire.