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May 20, 2021 10:25 am
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Sen. Bernie Sanders Offers Resolution Blocking Arms Sales to Israel

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the debate at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 25, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst.

US Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a resolution blocking a $735 million weapons sale to Israel on Thursday, mirroring a symbolic action by the House of Representatives in response to conflict between Israel and the Gazan terrorist group Hamas.

“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 $735 million in weapons to Israel this year, and sent it to Congress for formal review.

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

Sanders, a former candidate for the 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 US 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 are 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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