U.S. House Approves $26 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Amid Palestinian Condemnation

The U.S. House approves a $26 billion military aid package for Israel, drawing strong condemnation from the Palestinian Authority. The aid is part of a larger $95 billion foreign aid bill, sparking debate over U.S. involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Bijay Laxmi
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U.S. House Approves $26 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Amid Palestinian Condemnation

U.S. House Approves $26 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Amid Palestinian Condemnation

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a $26 billion military aid package for Israel, which Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh has strongly condemned as an "aggression against the Palestinian people" that will lead to "thousands of Palestinian victims in Gaza." The aid package is part of a larger $95 billion foreign aid bill that also includes funding for Ukraine, Taiwan, and other allies in the Indo-Pacific region.

The House passed the legislation with strong bipartisan support in a 366-58 vote, despite vocal opposition from a minority of lawmakers, including 19 progressive members who voted against the measure citing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Rep. Ayanna Pressley expressed her opposition, stating that it is "unconscionable" and that the U.S. cannot "become complicit as the Netanyahu government continues to massacre the Palestinian people."

The $26.4 billion aid to Israel includes funds to reinforce its Iron Dome air defense system and over $9 billion for humanitarian assistance in Gaza and other conflict zones. However, the bill contains strict requirements to ensure the aid is not diverted to Hamas. Some House Republicans, such as Rep. Andrew Clyde, criticized the humanitarian aid, arguing that it could end up in the hands of Hamas.

Why this matters: The passage of this significant military aid package to Israel amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has drawn strong reactions from both sides. It highlights the complex geopolitical dynamics and the U.S.'s role in the region, with potential implications for the prospects of peace and stability.

Abu Rudeineh described the aid as a "dangerous escalation" that gives Israel the "green light to expand the scope of war" in the region. He criticized the U.S. for supporting the "far-right Israeli government" that is continuing its "onslaught on Gaza for the 197th day in a row" and attacking cities in the West Bank. "The US is persisting in supporting the Israeli government, which is backing 'colonist attacks' in the West Bank and has halted support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)," Abu Rudeineh stated.

The Senate is expected to pass the legislation and send it to President Biden's desk. The overall aid package received strong bipartisan support, with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin celebrating its passage, saying it will save lives. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the package, claiming it will exacerbate global crises.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. House approves $26B military aid package for Israel.
  • Palestinian Authority condemns aid as "aggression" against Palestinians.
  • Bipartisan support for $95B foreign aid bill, including Ukraine, Taiwan.
  • Aid includes $9B for Gaza humanitarian assistance, with restrictions.
  • Senate expected to pass bill, Russia criticizes it as worsening crises.