Congressman Delays Arms Transfer To Israel Amid Gaza Crisis

Representative Gregory Meeks, the leading Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, voiced his reluctance to greenlight a substantial arms transfer to Israel without obtaining further details on the intended use of the weaponry.

Meeks emphasized the need for assurances regarding the types of weapons and their designated purposes before granting approval.

His stance comes amid escalating tensions and humanitarian concerns stemming from Israel’s ongoing military offensive in Gaza.

Humanitarian concerns intensify as Gaza faces devastating consequences (Credits: Reuters)

Reports surfaced on April 1 indicating that the Biden administration was deliberating over an $18 billion arms package for Israel, encompassing numerous Boeing Co F-15 aircraft.

This revelation coincided with mounting pressure on President Biden from international allies, human rights organizations, and some Democratic lawmakers to impose conditions on arms shipments to address the Gaza crisis.

The prolonged conflict in Gaza, ignited by Hamas’ attack on southern Israel in October, has left the Palestinian enclave devastated, with widespread famine and disease gripping its population, the majority of whom are now displaced.

U.S. legislation mandates congressional notification of significant foreign military sales agreements, empowering lawmakers to block such transactions if concerns arise over human rights violations or other pertinent issues.

Biden administration weighs $18 billion arms package (Credits: AFP)
Biden administration weighs $18 billion arms package (Credits: AFP)

Meeks, as one of the key figures in the congressional review process, underscored the importance of scrutinizing arms deals to prevent further civilian casualties and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Expressing dismay over the indiscriminate bombings characterizing Israel’s offensive in Gaza, Meeks emphasized the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis and securing the release of hostages held by Hamas.