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Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Photo: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

A staunch supporter of Israel throughout the years, Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of the letter was notable.

US Representative Nancy Pelosi has joined dozens of congressional democrats in urging President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to halt the transfer of weapons to Israel.

In a letter on Friday, the lawmakers said that in light of the recent airstrike that killed seven aid workers, “we strongly urge you to reconsider your recent decision to authorize the transfer of a new arms package to Israel, and to withhold this and any future offensive arms transfers until a full investigation into the airstrike is completed.”

“If this strike is found to have violated US or international law, we urge you to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable,” the letter added.

The World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers’ killings have prompted renewed scrutiny of US support for Israel’s genocidal war in the besieged Gaza Strip, where the death toll since October 7 has risen to more than 33,000.

The letter further urged the withholding of the arms transfers “if Israel fails to sufficiently mitigate harm to innocent civilians in Gaza, including aid workers, and if it fails to facilitate – or arbitrarily denies or restricts – the transport and delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

‘Intentional Starvation’

The Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said in a report last week that “the Israeli army intentionally uses starvation as a weapon of war against civilians in Gaza City and its northern areas,” which “includes the blocking of aid entry into these areas.”

The letter, signed by more than 30 Democrats, including Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, said the Israeli government’s restrictions on the flow of aid into Gaza, “coupled with the death and grave harm that aid workers have faced during this war, are compounding this hunger crisis.”

It highlighted the “hundreds of aid trucks” that “sit idle outside the Rafah border crossing due to Israel’s restrictions,” as well as the over 200 aid workers that have been killed since the start of the current bombardment.

Aid groups, including the WCK, have now suspended their operations in Gaza. This the letter highlights will “fuel the growing hunger crisis in Gaza.”

Bombs and Fighter Jets

“Given the horrifying facts on the ground, we are also greatly concerned by your recent decision to authorize an arms transfer to Israel, which reportedly includes 1,800 MK-84 2,000-pound bombs, 500 MK-82 500-pound bombs, and 25 F-35A fighter jets,” the letter stressed.

“The MK-84 2000-pound bombs have been linked to multiple mass casualty events in Gaza and are capable of killing or wounding people more than 1,000 feet away. We are also concerned by recent reports that the administration is considering authorizing another $18 billion arms transfer to include dozens of F-15 aircraft.”

The Democrats added: “In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers.”

‘In Our DNA’ – Pelosi

A staunch supporter of Israel, Pelosi’s endorsement of the letter was notable.

In a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in December, Pelosi reportedly said it was “a privilege to talk about the importance of the US-Israel bond, one based on our mutual security, mutual values, and is again something that is a source of pride to all of us in the Congress who work on this.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, she stated that support for Israel “has always been bipartisan in the Congress of the US and continues to be so,” adding “For many of us, it is in our DNA.”

The former US House Speaker in January urged the FBI to investigate protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, alleging that some activists may be linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, American media reported.

UN Resolution

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday adopted a resolution calling for Israel to be held accountable for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza.

The strongly worded text also called on countries to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms to Israel, amid a “plausible risk of genocide”.

Twenty-eight countries, including China, Chile, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, voted in favor of the resolution, with 13 abstaining, including France, India, and Japan.

Six countries, including Germany and the United States, voted against the resolution.

Arms Transfer

The Washington Post, citing three US officials, revealed on Thursday, that the Biden administration approved a significant transfer of bombs to Israel on the same day of the Israeli airstrikes that killed the WCK aid workers.

According to the report, the US State Department confirmed the approval of the arms transfer, which included over “1,000 MK 82 500-pound bombs, over 1,000 small-diameter bombs, and fuses for MK80 bombs.”

The authorization for the transfer was “granted by Congress several years before the latest hostilities”, the officials said, on the condition of anonymity.

However, the US government “has the authority to suspend an arms package any time before delivery” but “it has not done so in this case,” the Post noted.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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