06:57 GMT23 June 2021
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    It was reported earlier this week that the Biden administration had approved a potential sale of $735 million worth of precision-guided missiles to Israel. As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists, some lawmakers have called on Washington to stop arming Tel Aviv.

    Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) issued a statement on Wednesday announcing the introduction of a joint resolution in the US House of Representatives that seeks to prohibit the "transfer of defense articles, including defense services and technical data" to Israel.

    "For decades, the US has sold billions of dollars in weaponry to Israel without ever requiring them to respect basic Palestinian rights. In so doing, we have directly contributed to the death, displacement and disenfranchisement of millions," Ocasio-Cortez said in a quoted statement. "At a time when so many, including President Biden, support a ceasefire, we should not be sending ‘direct attack’ weaponry to Prime Minister Netanyahu to prolong this violence." 

    Other lawmakers sponsoring the resolution include Reps. Cori Bush (D-MI), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and André Carson (D-IN). 

    The lawmakers' move comes a day after House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and other senior House Democrats called off their push to make Biden delay the arms deal. 

    "What we wanted to do is to have a dialogue," Meeks said on Tuesday, noting that Biden planned to hold an "informational session" for members of Congress on Wednesday. 

    One unnamed lawmaker pushed back against Meeks' reasoning, telling Politico "the question is whether it would be wise to announce licensing now while the bombing is ongoing and we are trying to encourage a cease-fire." 

    As of this article's publication, the Israeli Air Force has claimed that Hamas militants have fired an estimated 4000 rockets toward Israel, and have killed at least 10 people. Palestinian health authorities report that they have recorded at least 212 deaths, including 61 children. 

    On Wednesday, amid rumors on when the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas might take place, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a Hamas political official, suggested that a ceasefire will be made in the coming days.  

    "I think that the ongoing efforts regarding the ceasefire will succeed," the senior Hamas official told Lebanon's al-Mayadeen TV. "I expect a ceasefire to be reached within a day or two, and the ceasefire will be on the basis of mutual agreement."

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    Tags:
    Hamas, Middle East, arms deal, Gaza, Israel, Joe Biden
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