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Biden approves $735m arms sale to Israel

May 18, 2021 at 7:01 pm

Smokes rise after airstrikes by Israeli army hit buildings in Gaza City, Gaza on May 16, 2021. [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

The Biden administration has approved a $735 million arms sale to Israel amid Tel Aviv’s ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip, according to a report published yesterday.

The decision to approve the sale was made on 5 May, about a week before Israel began bombing the Strip, the Washington Post reported. however, at the time, Israel was brutally quashing Palestinian protests against its planned forced displacement of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem and its continued assault of worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The decision to green light the sale, which is mainly made up of Joint Direct Attack Munitions, has stirred opposition among some members of US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, including Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, as the death toll from Israel’s offensive against Gaza continues to mount.

READ: Biden’s funding for Israel’s massacre of Palestinians can never be justified

Omar said shortly after the Post’s story was published that the sale should not be completed “while crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing.”

“It would be appalling for the Biden Administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to [Israeli PM] Netanyahu without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians.”

“If this goes through this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire,” added Omar.

At least 212 Palestinians have been killed, including 61 children, in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since 10 May, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 11,305 people have also been injured and dozens of buildings destroyed or damaged in the Israeli assault. More than 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced.

In Israel, ten people have been killed.