Democratic Senators Urge Biden to Issue Ultimatum to Conflict Aid

Source: Flickr/The White House

Some Democrat senators in the House of Representatives have sent a signed letter to President Joe Biden urging him to issue an ultimatum to Israel. They are urging the president let Israel know it will lose U.S. military assistance if it fails at expanding aid to Gaza.

The Letter Was Released on Tuesday

The letter sent by the Democrats was released to the public on Tuesday. It represents the latest efforts of U.S. legislators to scrutinize the continuous military backing the U.S. has been providing to Israel during its ongoing conflict with Gaza.

Source: Facebook/Cerita Tinta

The opening line of the letter remarks, “The severe humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza is nearly unprecedented in modern history.”

Biden Has Recently Been More Willing to Criticize Benjamin Netanyahu

This latest development coincides with the fact that of late President Biden has been a lot more willing to openly criticize Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Source: Wikipedia/U.S. Secretary of Defense

Earlier this month, Biden commented that Netanyahu’s approach to the conflict with Hamas in Gaza was “hurting Israel more than helping them.”

Innocent Lives Being Lost

Biden showed his support for Israel’s right to pursue Hamas. Biden believes Netanyahu “has a right to defend Israel, a right to continue to pursue Hamas.”

Source: Pexels

While showing support for Netanyahu’s pursuit of Hamas, Biden added, “he must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken.”

Biden’s Reluctance to Leave Israel

Even though Biden has been willing to criticize Netanyahu’s approach, he made it clear that he has no intention of withdrawing U.S. military support from Israel. Biden said, “I am never going to leave Israel. The defense of Israel is still critical.”

Source: Wikipedia/The White House

He added, “There is no red line (in which) I want to cut off all weapons so they don’t have the Iron Dome (air defense system) to protect them.”

There May be a “Red Line”

While making it clear that he has no intentions of withdrawing military support from Israel, Biden said there are “red lines… You cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead.”

Source: Pexels

Biden also mentioned that he had told Netanyahu about the need and necessity of a “come to Jesus” moment – a colloquial American expression which indicates arriving at a dramatic realization that course correction is necessary.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders Signed the Letter

Former presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, were amongst the group of senators who signed the letter sent to the president.

Source: Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore

Some of the other signatories were Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, Maryland’s Chris Van Hollen, and Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono.

Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act

The senators have urged Biden to ensure that Israel is complying with Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act. This section prohibits the extension of aid to any country found to be restricting access to humanitarian assistance.

Source: X/@HowardHackney

The letter says, “According to public reporting and your own statements, the Netanyahu government is in violation of this law.”

The Letter Talks About Serious Consequences

Talking about Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act, the letter also added, “Given this reality, 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 US law.”

Source: Pexels/Ekaterina Bolovstova

Israel, on its part, has denied restricting humanitarian access to Gaza. However, international aid workers have pointed out how Israeli authorities have been making aid delivery to Gaza increasingly difficult.

Difficulties Being Faced by Aid Workers

International aid workers have been talking about the challenges they are facing in trying to deliver aid to Gaza.

Source: Pexels/Ahmed akacha

These challenges including a variety of impediments including closed border crossings and ongoing violence.

Israel Accused of Attacking a Convoy Carrying Food Supplies

Last month, United Nations aid workers accused the Israeli navy of opening fire on a convoy carrying food supplies.

Source: Pixabay/doctor-a

The besieged Palestinian enclave has had very limited access to water, food, and other basic necessities since October 7, 2023.

More Than 31,180 Palestinians Have Been Killed

The humanitarian crisis has been unprecedented with more than 31,180 Palestinians killed due to Israel’s ongoing military campaign.

Image 11 Source Pexels

Source: Pxfuels

The letters signed by the senators said, “The United States should not provide military assistance to any country that interferes with US humanitarian assistance.”

Calling for Immediate Action

The letter highlighted the need for immediate action by stating, “Federal law is clear, and given the urgency of the crisis in Gaza and the repeated refusal of Prime Minister Netanyahu to address US concerns on this issue, immediate action is necessary to secure a change in policy by his government.”

Source: Pexels/klaushh

Last week, the U.S. government announced its plans of setting up a new temporary port in Gaza to deliver aid. It may take several weeks to complete the construction of the port.

Aid Delivery Needs to be Ramped Up

The United Nations has stated that significantly more ground aid deliveries are needed to meet the needs of Gaza’s affected population.

Source: Pexels

Currently, a maximum of 150 aid trucks are reaching Gaza every day when there is a need for at least 300 truck deliveries every day.

Biden’s Stance is Unclear

Biden’s stance on Israel’s military actions remains unclear for now. Last week, Biden said if Israel decided to invade the city of Rafah, where at least 1.3 million Palestinians have taken shelter, it would be “a red line.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

At the same time, the president has clarified he has no intentions or plans of withdrawing U.S. military support from Israel. 

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

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