Bernie Sanders US should reconsider foreign aid to Israel.
As fighting between Israel and Hamas militants occurred for a week, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday called for a “hard look” into the billions of dollars in annual military aid that the United States provides to Israel.
“The devastation in Gaza is unconscionable. We must urge an immediate ceasefire. The killing of Palestinians and Israelis must end,” Sanders posted in a tweet Sunday. “We must also take a hard look at nearly $4 billion a year in military aid to Israel. It is illegal to support human rights violations.”
Sanders, the two-time presidential candidate and socialist, has been a longtime critic of U.S. spending on Israel and promoted policy during his 2020 campaign to use military spending on the democratic state as leverage in an effort to urge change in its policies toward Gaza.
“I would use the leverage,” he said in October 2019. “$3.8 billion is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or, for that matter, to any government at all. We have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy.”
The most recent outbreak of violence in the region started in east Jerusalem last month after Palestinians retaliated to Israeli police tactics during Ramadan over the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. While Palestine views east Jerusalem as its capital, Israel has claimed the entire city as its own.
A focal point of the retaliation centered on the al Aqsa Mosque, a contentious place of worship that is a point of interest for Muslims and Jews. On Monday, Hamas fired a barrage of rockets toward Jerusalem, which triggered the Israeli assault on Gaza.
At least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Monday. Approximately 950 others have been wounded and at least 13 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, according to al Jazeera. On Sunday, an Israeli air strike in Gaza destroyed several homes and killed at least 42 Palestinians, including 10 children.
At least 10 people in Israel have also been killed since Monday’s conflict began, with two news deaths reported Saturday, the outlet reported. The Israeli army reported hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various spots in Israel.