Home Politics Democrats want to tighten rules for weapons given to foreign countries as US supports Israel

Democrats want to tighten rules for weapons given to foreign countries as US supports Israel

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A group of Senate Democrats are working on an amendment to the national supplemental package to ensure any weapons received by another country are used in accordance with U.S. and international humanitarian laws. 

‘The amendment points specifically to provisions within the Foreign Assistance Act, namely the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, as well as the Arms Export Control Act,’ a Senate aide told Fox News Digital on Friday. 

Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Tim Kaine, D-Va.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Peter Welch, D-Vt.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Ben Ray, Luján D-N.M.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; and Ed Markey, D-Mass., are sponsoring the amendment.

The amendment from the senators mandates that the president must inform Congress within 30 days about countries getting military aid funded by American taxpayers and whether those countries meet the updated criteria. It also inquires whether their use of U.S-supplied weapons aligns with Department of Defense (DOD) policies aimed at minimizing harm to civilians. 

‘U.S. assistance to our allies and partners has always come with the expectation that they will follow international laws of war,’ Kaine said Thursday in a statement. ‘This global amendment reaffirms the need to protect innocent civilians caught in conflict zones and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to vulnerable populations. We must ensure that even as we stand with our partners and allies across the world, our support remains consistent with the core values and strong support for human rights expressed by the American people.’

The amendment comes as there have been growing cries from progressive Democrats to eliminate the death of innocent Palestinians in the West Bank who are caught in the crossfire of the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Some have also called for a complete ceasefire and conditions on the emergency aid to Israel.

President Biden’s request earmarked more than $10 billion for Israel’s military defense and $3.5 billion in military financing that would allow Israel to buy weapons from the U.S.

Warren said in a statement that ‘American support cannot be a blank check to a right-wing Netanyahu government that has demonstrated a gross disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.’

‘U.S. military aid always includes conditions, and there is no exception, even for our allies,’ she said.

Van Hollen said it’s ‘critical’ that the U.S. ‘hold all nations who receive our assistance to the same standards — and that includes ensuring the use of this assistance is in line with U.S. law, international humanitarian law, and the law of armed conflict.’

‘We must also insist that our partners cooperate with us in allowing the delivery of humanitarian assistance,’ he said.

Last month, Palestinian officials said more than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7. 

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