In a statement on Monday, Omar said, “The United States should not stand idly by while crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing.”
She said that the ongoing conflict is “spiraling out of control” and that Israeli airstrikes have left at least 200 Palestinians dead.
“At least 10 Israelis, including 2 children, have also been killed by indiscriminate Hamas rocket attacks. To be clear, this is also a war crime,” she added.
“It would be appalling for the Biden Administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians. If this goes through this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire.”
Israel’s air defense system, the Iron Dome, is responsible for the low death count among Israelis. Officials say it has been effective in blocking about 90% of the short-range rockets fired by militants.
Finally, Omar said, “We should be standing unequivocally and consistently on the side of human rights—holding all state and non-state actors accountable for their crimes and using every tool at our disposal to end the violence and bring about peace. We should be affirming the right of all people, regardless of their faith, to have self-determination and equal rights. That includes both Israelis and Palestinians because, yes, Palestinian lives matter.”
The Washington Post reported on Monday that Congress was notified of the arms sale roughly a week before Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organization, began firing rockets into population centers in Israel. The Post noted the sale included precision-guided weapons.
Amid the conflict, Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reiterated his “unwavering support” for Israel’s “right to defend itself.”
Biden told reporters, “My hope is that we will see this coming to a conclusion sooner than later.”
Congressional Democrats have called on Biden to adopt a tougher stance towards Israel’s military response.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said that “Hamas made a horrible mistake and fired rockets unprovoked into Israel.” However, he added, “But we also got here because the Israeli government has effectively eliminated the prospect of a viable future Palestinian state.”
While U.S. officials are trying to broker a ceasefire, Netanyahu told CBS News’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday, “We’ll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet … and we’re trying to degrade Hamas’s terrorist abilities and their ability to do this again.”
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