U.S. House approves $17 bn military aid package for Israel

U.S. House of Representatives

As Israel continues its genocide against the Palestinian people, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed bill granting $17 billion defence aid to Israel and around £2 billion in humanitarian relief to Gaza.

The Senate is also expected to pass the measure next week, sending it to President Joe Biden to sign into law.

$5.2 billion will go toward replenishing and expanding Israel’s missile and rocket defence system; $3.5 billion will go to purchasing advanced weapons systems; $1 billion to enhance weapons production; $4.4 billion for other defence supplies and services provided to Israel; and $2.4 billion to U.S. operations in the region amid the Gaza war.

The bill also prohibits funds going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides support to Palestinian refugees.

Biden praised the lawmakers of both parties, saying that “at this critical inflection point, they came together to answer history’s call.”

He said: “Today, members of both parties in the House voted to advance our national security interests and send a clear message about the power of American leadership on the world stage. At this critical inflection point, they came together to answer history’s call, passing urgently-needed national security legislation that I have fought for months to secure.

“This package will deliver critical support to Israel and Ukraine; provide desperately needed humanitarian aid to Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, and other locations impacted by conflicts and natural disasters around the world; and bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. It comes at a moment of grave urgency, with Israel facing unprecedented attacks from Iran, and Ukraine under continued bombardment from Russia.”

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Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the House’s approval of aid “sends a strong message to our enemies.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the bill “demonstrates strong bipartisan support for Israel and defends Western civilization. Thank you friends, thank you America!”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also thanked America for its “unwavering support” as Israel “faces threats from 7 different fronts including Iran.”

Several dozen Democrats voted against the bill aiding Israel as they demanded an end to the offensive on Gaza.

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