Senators Urge Biden to Stop Arming Israel, Citing Violation of U.S. Aid Law

A group of Democratic senators urged President Biden on Monday to stop providing offensive weapons to Israel for the war against Hamas until it lifts restrictions on U.S.-backed humanitarian aid going into Gaza.

In a letter to Mr. Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, and seven Democrats argued that by continuing to arm Israel, Mr. Biden was violating the Foreign Assistance Act, which bars military support from going to any nation that restricts the delivery of humanitarian aid.

It was the latest bid by members of his own party to intensify pressure on Mr. Biden to use his leverage to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu change his tactics and mitigate the suffering of Palestinians as the offensive in Gaza drags into its fifth month.

“We urge you to make it clear to the Netanyahu government that failure to immediately and dramatically expand humanitarian access and facilitate safe aid deliveries throughout Gaza will lead to serious consequences, as specified under existing U.S. law,” the group wrote.

Mr. Sanders said it was clear that Mr. Netanyahu’s actions were in breach of the terms of American military aid as set out in the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, which is part of the foreign assistance law. The act says that as soon as the president is made aware that a country is blocking or restricting the delivery of American humanitarian assistance, no U.S. military aid can be provided.

“That’s exactly what Israel is doing; they are preventing U.S. humanitarian assistance from getting to the people of Gaza,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview. “They are in violation of the law, and therefore financial aid should be suspended.”

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