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  • snitzoid

OMG the Dems got one thing right! Well played.

Why we're sending Israel money and military hardware to finance and arm this ridiculous invasion is bey0nd me. I'm all for smoking Hamas, but this will empower their Mother Ship Iran and weaken the State of Israel.

Then there's the humanitarian side of this. Of course who cares, the Palestianians aren't real people, don't care for the Jews and while being 50% children well...f-ck them. They shouldn't have been born in Gaza. Do the honorable thing and just walk off into the sea.

Democrats Warn Biden: Israel Not in Compliance With U.S. Law as Recipients of Military Aid

Democratic lawmakers warned the U.S. president that the Netanyahu government's restriction on the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza makes Israel 'ineligible to receive continued U.S. weapons,' and must rectify the situation before it sets an 'unacceptable precedent'

Ben Samuels, Haaretz Media

Mar 23, 2024 6:00 pm IST

WASHINGTON — U.S. Democratic lawmakers are warning the Biden administration that Israel, as a recipient of U.S. military aid, is not abiding by the American laws to which it is beholden amid Gaza's worsening humanitarian crisis.

A group of U.S. House Democrats, all of whom have significant foreign policy and national security experience, are warning U.S. President Joe Biden that "so long as Israel continues to restrict the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, the continued provision of U.S. security assistance to Israel would constitute a violation of existing U.S. law and must be restricted," they wrote in a recent letter.

They urged Biden to make this violation clear to the Israeli government, "given the catastrophic and devolving humanitarian situation in Gaza, we urge you to enforce the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act."

The law in question states that no military aid may be supplied to any country "when it is made known to the President that the government of such country prohibits or otherwise restricts, directly or indirectly, the transport or delivery of United States humanitarian assistance," the law reads.

Pointing to conditions of looming famine and dire circumstances in Gaza detailed by USAID Administrator Samantha Power and a UN-backed report, the lawmakers warned that Israel's restriction on the delivery of humanitarian aid, including U.S.-funded humanitarian aid, has made Israel "ineligible to receive continued U.S. weapons under Section 620I."

The applicability of Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act, notably, is limited to offensive weapons systems provided to Israel like 2,000-pound bombs used in Gaza.

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"We support the continued provision of defensive systems to protect Israeli civilians. Section 620I does not implicate defensive systems like Iron Dome, which has saved countless lives in Israel for nearly two decades," the lawmakers note.

They added that if any such defense weapons systems were to be impacted by the enforcement of Section 620I, the law does include a waiver that can used at the discretion of Congress.

Recently, eight senators cited this same law in a letter to Biden, warning that he must require Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to stop restricting humanitarian aid access or forfeit U.S. military aid to Israel.

"Thirty years ago, a bipartisan majority in Congress came together to pass the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and prohibit U.S. foreign assistance from going to countries that block U.S. humanitarian aid. As the situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate, Congress and the White House need to make clear to Israel that we will enforce U.S. law to protect Palestinian children from starvation in Gaza," Rep. Joaquin Castro, one of the leaders on the House letter, told Haaretz.

"The United States must not be complicit in the preventable deaths of innocent Palestinian families and other civilians. The October 7 attacks were horrifying, and I believe the U.S. should support efforts to hold Hamas terrorists fully accountable for their heinous crimes," Castro noted. "However, Netanyahu's campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian people has resulted in unconscionable loss of innocent life and will not protect Israel's security or move the region any closer to peace."

Castro was joined on the letter by leading House Democrats such as Reps. Jim McGovern (co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission), Sara Jacobs, Jan Schakowsky, Barbara Lee (ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs) and Chellie Pingree.

Their effort comes hours after 17 Senate Democrats warned the Biden administration that Israel does not meet the "credible and reliable" test detailed by the national security memorandum, requiring recipients of U.S. weapons to assure unobstructed delivery of humanitarian aid in conflict zones. Senior Biden administration officials are currently sharply divided over whether to accept Israel's assurances that it is completely in accordance with the requirements detailed by the memorandum.

The senators decried "the continued excessively burdensome restrictions erected by the Netanyahu Government on the flow of aid from land crossings into Gaza and within Gaza," urging Biden to use the memorandum as a tool to "[bring] the Netanyahu government into compliance with its terms" and secure the delivery of aid into Gaza.

The senators added that the assurances made by the Israeli government about the delivery of aid do not "meet the required 'credible and reliable' standard at this time," and "such a determination would also establish an unacceptable precedent for the application of [the National Security Memorandum] in other situations around the world."

There is a lingering and growing sentiment among national security officials that Israel's failure to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza could have significant ramifications. Nearly 70 former senior U.S. national security officials and diplomats sent Biden a letter last week, urging him to take stronger measures to promote humanitarian access and protection of civilians in Gaza, floating the possibility of restricting U.S. aid to Israel consistent with American law.

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