Sanders tables resolution in US Senate to block arms sales to Israel

WASHINGTON: Bernie Sanders introduced a resolution in the US Senate on Thursday to block a $735 million weapons sale to Israel, mirroring a symbolic action by the House of Representatives in response to the situation in Gaza Strip.

“At a moment when US-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,” said Sanders, an independent who votes with Democrats.

Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration approved the potential sale of $735m in weapons to Israel this year, and sent it to Congress for formal review.

The violence has prompted calls from some lawmakers for a more concerted US effort to stop the Israeli airstrikes that have killed dozens of civilians, most of them Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Sanders, a former candidate for Democratic presidential nomination, said Americans need to take a “hard look” at whether the weapons sales fuel conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

His resolution follows a measure introduced by Repres­entatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan and Rashida Tlaib, which has at least six other co-sponsors, including some of the most left-leaning Democrats in the House.

The measures were unlikely to pass in either the House or Senate, where bipartisan support for arms sales for Israel has traditionally been strong.


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