WORLD

US Representatives approve a bill requiring Biden to send weapons to Israel

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The Republican-led US House of Representatives passed – on Thursday – a bill forcing President Joe Biden to send arms shipments to Israel. It also sought to censure the Democratic president for delaying sending bomb shipments, to pressure Tel Aviv to do more to protect civilians during its war in Gaza.

The bill, called the “Israel Security Assistance Support Act,” was approved by 224 votes to 187 against during a vote conducted largely on a partisan basis, with 16 Democrats joining most Republicans in voting yes, while 3 Republicans joined most Democrats in opposing the measure.

The bill proposes that the United States urgently deliver weapons to Israel, particularly high-payload bombs that have been approved but whose shipment has been suspended due to concerns about their use in any comprehensive Israeli ground attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where more than a million people live. .

A symbolic step

The step is largely symbolic, and the legislation will be dead when it reaches the Democratic-led Senate, and Biden pledged – Tuesday – to use his veto power against it if Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate) approves it.

This came in a statement issued by the White House regarding Biden’s decision on the bill submitted by the Republican Party to the House of Representatives last weekend.

This measure comes as a culmination of the political repercussions resulting from Biden’s recent decision to stop the shipment of bombs to Israel and his clear warning that his country will not supply it with weapons that could be used in any attack on Rafah.

Republicans took advantage of these moves to attack Biden, accusing him of betraying Israel due to political pressure.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a press conference with party leaders on Wednesday, “This is a disastrous decision with global repercussions. It is clear that it was made based on political calculations, and we cannot allow this to continue.”

Republicans say that Biden has no right to interfere in the Israeli military campaign, but the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives described the bill as playing political games, and said that Republicans are distorting Biden’s position on Israel.

The White House announced a $1 billion arms package for Israel this week that includes tank and mortar ammunition, providing cover for pro-Israel Democrats to reject the bill.

Israel – a major recipient of US military aid for decades – is scheduled to receive American weapons worth billions of dollars despite the delay of one shipment consisting of 1,800 bombs, each weighing 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms), and 1,700 bombs, each weighing 500 pounds (about 227 kilograms). kilograms), and other arms shipments will be reviewed by the Biden administration.

Since October 7, 2023, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip with American support, leaving tens of thousands martyred and wounded – most of them children and women – and massive destruction and famine that claimed the lives of children and the elderly, according to Palestinian and UN data.

Israel continues the war despite the issuance of a ceasefire resolution by the UN Security Council, and despite the International Court of Justice demanding immediate measures to prevent acts of genocide and improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.