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US lawmakers renew push for more aid to Israel after Iran attack | Israel's War on Gaza News

US lawmakers renew push for more aid to Israel after Iran attack |  Israel's War on Gaza News


Washington, DC Ninety U.S. Congressional lawmakers in a letter urged House Speaker Mike Johnson to immediately advance a foreign funding bill that includes $14 billion in aid to Israel .

The letter, sent Sunday and made public Monday, follows an unprecedented attack by Iran over the weekend, in which Iran fired hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in retaliation for a deadly attack earlier this month against its consulate in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

Time is running out and we must ensure that crucial aid is provided to Israel and our other Democratic allies facing threats from our adversaries around the world, read the brief letter, which was signed primarily by Democrats but also by Republican lawmakers such as Joe Wilson. , chairman of the Middle East Foreign Affairs Subcommittee in the House of Representatives.

We urge you to submit the Senate's additional aid package for an immediate vote when we return on Monday.

The Iranian attack showed us why our aid to Israel is essential. I join @RepJoshG, @RepJoeWilson and more than 80 colleagues in calling on President Johnson to deliver the Senate-passed aid package to provide Israel and other allies with the resources needed to defend themselves.

Representative Lois Frankel (@RepLoisFrankel) April 15, 2024

Separately, Hakeem Jeffries, the highest-ranking Democrat in the House, on Monday called on his fellow lawmakers to pass the $95 billion foreign funding bill, which includes aid to Ukraine and Israel. In February, the Senate passed the measure, but pressure from conservatives in his party led Johnson, a Republican, to block the measure in the House. For a bill to become law in the United States, it must be approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the president.

The extremely serious events that occurred this past weekend in the Middle East and Eastern Europe underscore the need for Congress to act immediately. We must immediately pass the bipartisan, comprehensive national security bill passed by the Senate, Jeffries wrote in a letter to his fellow colleagues, calling the vote a Churchill or Chamberlain moment.

The Iranian attack on Israel on Saturday evening, which caused only minor damage after most of the projectiles were intercepted, renewed pressure for the House to pass the Senate-approved bill, all but drowning out calls to condition aid to the Israeli government on its conduct. in the war in the Gaza Strip.

Republicans have sought to decouple aid to Ukraine from funding for Israel. Moreover, many Republican lawmakers have also attempted to link their domestic policy agenda to the Israeli aid program.

For example, last year the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a $14.5 billion measure for Israel that would significantly reduce funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the tax agency. American. The Senate did not accept the proposal.

Many US lawmakers have condemned the Iranian attack on Israel, describing Israel as the victim of unprovoked aggression.

But Iran said it was engaging in self-defense after blaming Israel for the April 1 airstrike on its consulate in Damascus, which killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including two generals.

President Joe Biden's administration has refused to condemn the Damascus consulate bombing, but the United States is now calling for de-escalation.

Washington, which helped Israel shoot down hundreds of Iranian drones and missiles, hailed efforts to thwart the attack as a victory, suggesting Israel should not retaliate.

In Congress, members of both major parties have called for prioritizing U.S. support for Israel.

In his first comment on the Iranian attack Saturday evening, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Congress to do its part to support Israel without delay.

The national security supplement, which takes months of action, will provide critical resources to Israel and our own military forces in the region, he said in a statement.

Palestinian rights advocates have argued that the United States must enforce its own laws prohibiting military aid and arms transfers to parties involved in violations of international humanitarian law.

The Israeli offensive in Gaza has left more than 33,000 dead. Israel has also imposed a stifling blockade on the territory, leading Samantha Power, the director of USAID, to declare last week that famine was rampant in the enclave.

The White House has rejected requests to condition aid to Israel, often reiterating its unwavering commitment to the country and urging Congress to approve the foreign funding bill.

Rather than requesting additional military aid from Israel, the Biden administration should immediately suspend all arms transfers to Israel and any other rogue governments that have used American weapons to commit genocide and attack the embassies of neighboring countries, a said Raed Jarrar, director of democracy advocacy for Israel. the Arab world now, told Al Jazeera in a statement.

Sending additional weapons to Israel is not only a violation of international law, it is also a violation of US law which prohibits arming countries committing genocide and blocking humanitarian aid to starving populations.




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