Days of Palestine

Thursday, June 8

Democrats Urge Biden to Probe Israel’s Use of U.S. Weapons on Palestinians

M.Y | DOP -

Members of the Democratic Party in Congress have implored President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Joe Biden to investigate whether American weapons are being employed by Israel to commit human rights violations against Palestinians, potentially in violation of US laws.

Senator Bernie Sanders has initiated a movement to acquire the backing of other Democratic legislators, as shown in a letter that has already been endorsed by ten Congress participants.

In the letter, it was urged for the administration to make a change in US policy to address the increasing violence, land seizure, and disregard for Palestinian rights. The letter further suggested that the only way to attain lasting peace is by ensuring democracy, human rights, and autonomy for both Palestinians and Israelis.

The letter emphasized the “horrific violence” of the Israeli occupation forces. It mentioned the raid in Nablus that resulted in 11 Palestinians losing their lives, including a 72-year-old-man and a 16-year-old child, as well as the aggressive attack carried out by Israeli settlers who in February torched homes, schools, vehicles, and businesses, leaving one Palestinian dead and injuring more than 300 from the Palestinian town of Huwara.

In their letter, Congress members noted that this year has been marked by a heightened level of violence from Israeli forces and settlers, resulting in the deaths of 85 Palestinians including sixteen children. They pointed to last year being the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2004, and highlighted the deaths of two American citizens, Shireen Abu Akleh and Omar Assad, at the hands of Israeli occupation forces. Abu Akleh was an American-Palestinian journalist who was shot by an Israeli sniper.

The letter, which addressed many issues, also expressed worry about the Israeli persistent disregard for international law; the actions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing administration; and the United States’ failure to make the Israeli occupation accountable. The legislators declared that “only decisive steps to change the political situation will create a path to peace,” before imploring the Biden administration to guarantee that US public funds are not utilized for activities in unlawful settlements and determine if the Israeli occupation is violating US laws by utilizing American weaponry to perpetrate human rights abuses.

Jewish Currents reports that the letter was put together by Jamal Bowman and has been signed by nine other lawmakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Summer Lee, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, André Carson and Ayanna Pressley.