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Friday, February 16, 2024

US senator says giving Israel another $10B in military aid would be ‘irresponsible’

Bernie Sanders urges Washington to put maximum pressure on Netanyahu to halt military approach

US Senator Bernie Sanders said Sunday that it would be “irresponsible” for the US to provide an additional $10 billion in military aid to Israel to sustain its war against Hamas.

Sanders made the remarks while appearing on the CBS News program Face the Nation, according to The Hill news outlet.

“I think that it would be irresponsible for the United States to give (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu another $10 billion to continue to wage this awful war,” he said, alluding to the thousands of Palestinian civilians killed during Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

“What the Congress has got to do is make it clear to Netanyahu that we’re not going to simply give them a blank check to kill women and children in Palestine,” he added.

He highlighted that there are “1.9 million people displaced, going around without any water, food. Without any medical supplies. It is a humanitarian disaster. And the United States has got to put all of the pressure that it can to tell Netanyahu to stop this disastrous military approach.”

Sanders reiterated that Israel has the right to self-defense but emphasized that it has no right to wage war against civilians in Gaza.

He also said that Netanyahu’s goal regarding Gaza is unclear.

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Sanders’ comments come after a $105 billion budget request by US President Joe Biden, which included military aid for Israel and Ukraine, was rejected in the Senate on Dec. 7.

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Typically aligning with Democrats, Sanders joined Republicans in the vote, citing aid to Israel as the reason for rejection.

He opposes giving unconditional military funding to Netanyahu, saying that while Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas, it lacks the legal or moral right to kill innocent Palestinians.

Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip on Dec. 1 after the end of a weeklong humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group Hamas.

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Nearly 18,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 49,229 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since Oct. 7 following a cross-border attack by Hamas.

The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stood at 1,200, according to official figures.