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World

House Democrats question Biden Administration's $735 million arms sale to Israel amidst crisis in Gaza

  • The Biden Administration has formally approved the sale of $735 million worth of precision-guided weapons technology to Israel, drawing the ire of House Democrats who are questioning the government's support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • At least 200 Palestinians in Gaza, including 58 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes since the beginning of this crisis on the 10th of May.
Updated 18 May 2021

The Biden Administration has formally approved the sale of $735 million worth of precision-guided weapons technology to Israel, drawing the ire of House Democrats who are questioning the government's support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Some legislators are questioning the Biden Administration's endorsement of the weapons sale to Israel, and whether it could have been used as a bargaining chip to ease the ongoing tensions in the Gaza Strip.

The aforementioned arms sale, which was Congressionally notified on the 5th of May, prior to the escalation in the Gaza Strip, includes Joint Direct Attack Munitions - which are used to turn bombs into precision-guided missiles.

Criticism of the Biden Administration’s support of Israel in the midst of this deadly confrontation has become more prevalent, as prominent Democratic voices including Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have criticised Israel's military offensive in Gaza, fearing more carnage in the foreseeable future.

At least 200 Palestinians in Gaza, including 58 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes since the beginning of this crisis on the 10th of May.

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged all involved parties to ensure the protection of civilians, and reiterated that Israel has an additional burden to avoid civilian casualties.

Blinken added that he has not seen any evidence of Hamas operated in the Gaza building that housed residences, offices and media organisations, including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press - asking Israel to justify the strike with credible intelligence.

However, the Biden Administration has continually stressed Israel's right to "self-defence", in addition to repeatedly vetoing a United Nations Security Council joint statement to condemn Israel's actions and to call for a ceasefire.

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