3rd Thursday Alert (June 2024): Call on your congressional representative and U.S. senators to oppose continued U.S. military aid to Israel

3rd Thursday Alert (June 2024): Call on your congressional representative and U.S. senators to oppose continued U.S. military aid to Israel

Tensions in the Middle East continue to rise. Unabated arms sales and military aid, and unresolved ceasefire initiatives and resolutions are central to the continuing heightened tensions. As Hezbollah and Israeli bombardments and rhetoric increase, Gaza continues to be under assault by the Israeli military. Additionally, military and settler violence in the West Bank continue to become a norm.

The United States has a legal and moral obligation to regulate its arms sales internationally, particularly when the recipient is an ally of the country. Since October 7, there have been international and domestic calls to restrict arms shipments to Israel. Within the U.S., Congressional efforts have been led by Sen. Sanders and Sen. Van Hollen through invoking the 502b and 602I measure of Foreign Assistance Act. These actions have also called for the invoking of Leahy Law measures as there are numerous credible accusations of Israel breaking contravention of International Law through their horrific war crimes on Palestinians, or the Lebanese. Beyond shutting off the valve of arms, the need for an equitable and realist ceasefire is desperately needed.

Gaza, Southern Lebanon, and the West Bank have endured egregious destructive actions by the Israeli military. In Gaza, the death toll has reached at least as 37,000 with at least an additional 10,000 trapped under the rubble or missing, and at least 85,000 injured. All hospitals have been destroyed or in a state of inoperability and, civil and aid workers working to help those afflicted are targeted directly. Since early June, the delivery of aid has been shut off from entering Southern Gaza as Israel’s invasion began through the military seizure of the Philadelphia Corridor on the Egyptian and Gaza border. Additionally, since the beginning of the Israeli war on Gaza, Israeli soldiers have uploaded videos of themselves en masse showing more incidents of war crimes.

In Southern Lebanon, Israel has targeted civilian population centers and agricultural areas using white phosphorus, a chemical weapon. In the West Bank, IDF and IDF supported settler violence has escalated greatly. Recently, IDF soldiers were recorded sniping youth in Jenin without justification.

These actions are supported, and from the Nuseirat refugee massacre, aided by the U.S. in aid, unrestricted arm sales, and intelligence. The U.S. has a moral and legal obligation to halt arm sales to allies if those allies are conducting war crimes and to prevent genocide.

Call on your congressional representative and U.S. senators to uphold the U.S. obligation, as called for in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to prevent genocide in Gaza by opposing continued U.S. military aid and halting all private contractor shipments to the State of Israel. Urge an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and support continued humanitarian support to Palestinians in Gaza – both directly and through restored robust U.S. financial contributions to the leading humanitarian organization serving Palestinians, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

[1] https://www.ochaopt.org/  

[2] Humanitarian Situation Update #179 | Gaza Strip | United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – occupied Palestinian territory (ochaopt.org)

[3] Does US support for Israel’s Nuseirat attack have legal ramifications? | Middle East Eye [4] Israel using ‘Lavender’ AI machine in Gaza killing spree (newarab.com)

[4] https://www.sanders.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/Letter-to-President-Biden-on-enforcement-of-Section-620I-of-the-Foreign-Assistance-Act3.pdf

[5] Congressional Leaders Let Major Arms Sale to Israel Proceed After White House Pressure (msn.com)