© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talks to reporters as he transits the underground subway at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. March 4, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. 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 Gaza’s Hamas leaders.
“At a moment when U.S.-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 U.S. effort to stop the violence, including Israeli airstrikes that have killed dozens of civilians, most of them Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Sanders, a former candidate for 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 U.S. 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 were 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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