On Monday, the Biden administration has approved a $735 million arms sale to Israel amid Tel Aviv’s ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip, according to a report published.
The Washington Post reported that the decision to approve the sale was made on May 5, about a week before the violence began. But the approval came amid the then-mounting criticism of Israel’s planned expulsions of Palestinian residents from East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and repeated raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the third holiest site in Islam.
The decision to go ahead with the sale, which is mainly comprised of Joint Direct Attack Munitions, has stirred opposition among some members of US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, including Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, as the death toll from Israel’s Gaza offensive continues to mount.
Shortly after the Post’s story was published, Omar said that the sale should not be completed “while crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing.”
“It would be appalling for the Biden administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu without any strings attached, in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians,” she said in a statement.
“If this goes through, this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire,” added Omar.
At least 212 Palestinians have been killed, including 61 children, in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since last week, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 11,305 people have also been injured and dozens of buildings were either destroyed or damaged in the Israeli assault.
In Israel, 10 people have also been killed in Hamas’ rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.