Deep divisions in US government over arms sales to Israel amidst Gaza food crisis

Deep divisions in US government over arms sales to Israel amidst Gaza food crisis

The United States government is divided over whether to certify Israel’s commitment to facilitating humanitarian aid to Gaza and hand over weapons, according to US officials. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has until Sunday to approve Israel’s position or face suspending arms transfers to the country.

Amid pressure from Congress, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum requiring recipients of US military aid to respect international law and commit to not obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid. Arms sales to Israel could be suspended if they do not provide a written commitment in time.

Criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza has led to calls from Democratic senators to make military aid conditional on Israel’s commitment to humanitarian efforts. Some senators have urged Biden to stop providing offensive weapons to Israel until restrictions on humanitarian aid are lifted.

The deadline for Israel to make a commitment comes as Canada has stopped arms exports to Israel, a first for a Western state. Danish NGOs are suing their government to end arms exports to Israel, citing concerns about crimes against Palestinian civilians.

Haaretz reports that US lawmakers and White House officials warn against a full-scale invasion of Gaza that could violate US demands and lead to political, diplomatic, and legal consequences. The situation remains tense as the US government grapples with decisions regarding aid to Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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