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September 19, 2021 6:18 pm
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Israel’s Erdan Lambasts AOC Effort to End Munition Weaponry Sales to Israel

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally in New York City. Photo: Reuters/Caitlin Ochs.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nation Gilad Erdan slammed US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s legislative effort to block specific US weapons sales to Israel.

“I would expect a Congressperson to understand that Israel is defending its citizens against Hamas, a designated terrorist organization,” Erdan said Saturday.

The New York Democrat recently introduced an amendment to the US defense budget seeking to block American weapons transactions to the Israeli government over the alleged “bombing of Palestinian civilians, media centers” during the hostilities with Hamas in May this year.

“Your amendment further legitimizes their heinous attacks against innocent civilians, as well as antisemitic lies,” Erdan said.

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Specifically, the amendment calls for the suspension of $735 million in direct commercial sales of the Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) weaponry to Israel. JDAM kits turn unguided bombs into precision-guided munitions.

“This would block the transfer of the same kind of Boeing weaponry that the Israeli government used to kill 44 Palestinians in one night in al-Rimal,” according to Ocasio-Cortez’s statement, referring to an IDF airstrike during the May 2021 conflict in Gaza that it has said targeted a Hamas tunnel network and command center.

Erdan emphasized that “Israel and the US have a strategic alliance, critical to the security of our two countries.”

“Israel is a world leader in the fight against terrorism, and our partnership has helped prevent terrorist attacks against American citizens many times in the past,” he added.

Along with the Israel-related amendment, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez introduced another six amendments for the US Defense Budget Bill ahead of this week’s vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which she said “collectively seek to end US practices that have contributed to human rights abuses.”

Another amendment calls for seizing weapons sales to the Saudi government unit allegedly involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Ocasio-Cortez introduced three amendments related to the US relationship with Colombia, including the violent crackdown on protesters and the prohibition of the sale of military aid, weaponry, and training to the country.

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