US House votes to resume arms supply to Israel

Washington, May 17 (IANS/DPA): The US House of Representatives has voted in favour of a bill aimed at forcing President Joe Biden to resume arms deliveries to Israel which had been paused.

The text was passed on Thursday with 208 Republican votes and 16 votes from Biden's Democrats, but is likely to fail in the Senate, where the president's party has the upper hand.

Biden had previously announced that he would veto the bill should it pass Congress. The text calls on his administration to swiftly implement all arms transfers to Israel that have already been authorised by Congress.

The US is currently withholding a delivery of ammunition due to Israel's actions in the city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The White House has repeatedly made it clear that it rejects a major offensive by the Israeli army in the city, which is overcrowded with internally displaced people from other parts of the Gaza Strip.

Last week, Biden threatened Israel that a major ground offensive could have consequences for US arms supplies. Subsequently, senior administration officials tried to appease Israel and made it clear that the US was behind Israel and that it was only about this one delivery.

At the same time, there were reports of a new arms delivery to Israel.

"We have been very loud and clear about our concerns about a major military operation in Rafah for weeks — for months," confirmed Biden's spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday. "This is something that we are concerned about," she said.

She said the White House still accepts Israeli assurances that the current deployment of the Israeli military in Rafah is "limited."

The Republican chairman of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, accused Biden of having turned his back on Israel.

"The Biden Administration’s decision to withhold weapons is catastrophic and goes directly against the will of Congress," Johnson wrote on the social media platform X.

"With the passage of the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, we send a clear message of solidarity and support to Israel and demand the urgent delivery of defence weapons to our most important ally in the Middle East," he wrote.

He called Biden's threat to veto the legislation an "act of betrayal to our closest ally in the region."



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Title: US House votes to resume arms supply to Israel

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