Congresswoman McCollum proposed a bill on Friday to prevent US aid from supporting the detention of Palestinian minors, or any military actions that would lead to the illegal occupation of the West Bank.
Congresswoman McCollum stated that not a single cent of U.S. funds should be used for human rights abuses, demolishing residences, or permanent annexation of Palestinian territories.
Every year, the US gives the Israeli occupation a minimum of $3.8 billion in aid, despite accusations of apartheid from renowned human rights organizations like Amnesty International.
The Act to defend Palestinian children and families living under Israeli occupation is unlikely to pass Congress, due to the strong bipartisan support for the Israeli occupation.
Advocates of Palestinian rights argue that such measures bring about discussions concerning US policy, and demonstrate the efforts to challenge the unmitigated support of the Israeli occupation.
Surveys of public opinion suggest that an increasing amount of Americans, particularly Democrats, are sympathetic to the Palestinians and back the idea of limiting aid.
Sixteen Democrats endorsed McCollum’s bill, including Beyer of Virginia, Jayapal from the Progressive Caucus, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, Bush, Omar, and Pressley.
Barbara Lee and Summer Lee, both running for the US Senate in California, have shown their support for a bill, despite the millions of dollars in campaign spending against them by pro-Israel groups last year.
The Israeli control of the West Bank leads to illegal demolitions of Palestinian homes and forced removal of Palestinians, according to the bill.
The bill highlighted that on an annual basis, somewhere between 500-700 Palestinian minors between the ages of 12-17 are taken into custody by the Israeli occupation and put on trial in military tribunals.
Legislation proposed highlighted a clear disparity between legal systems in Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinians face Israeli military law while Israeli settlers are subject to Israeli civilian law.
McCollum has been introducing the same bill every two years since 2017. It has yet to be reviewed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by pro-Israel Republican Michael McCaul.
In April, 14 senators (including Bernie Sanders) who had co-sponsored a bill by Rep. McCollum, asked President Biden to look into reports of human rights violations against Palestinians involving US weapons.
The letter demanded that US taxpayer money not be used to finance projects in illegal settlements.
The Biden administration has expressed disapproval of Israeli settlement plans, however US officials consistently emphasize that their support of the Israeli occupation is “unshakeable”.