U.S. approved $147 million emergency weapons sale to Israel, bypassing Congress for the second time this month (CNN)
Over 21,600 Palestinians killed in Gaza since start of war; 130 Israeli and foreign hostages remain (USA Today)
South Africa filed case accusing Israel of genocide at International Court of Justice (Al Jazeera)
UN says over 300 killed in strikes on its shelters in Gaza (NBC News)
Senator Tim Kaine criticized weapons transfers, saying Congress should have oversight (The Guardian)
- Israel argues these weapons are needed to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks and destroy militant tunnels and infrastructure. They say strikes target Hamas and aim to limit civilian harm.
- Hamas claims the US is complicit in Israeli "war crimes" against Palestinians by providing military backing. They say the US is perpetuating the conflict.
- Some analysts say the US is pursuing contradictory policies - urging de-escalation while expediting arms. This "dual track" approach is seen as strategically incoherent.
- There are concerns the Gaza war could further destabilize the region. The UN has warned of risks of escalation and spillover into West Bank, Lebanon and beyond.
- South Africa's genocide accusation against Israel is disputed by other nations. But it highlights international divisions on Gaza.
The Biden administration has approved two emergency weapons sales to Israel this month, bypassing Congressional review amid Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza, according to CNN, USA Today, and The Guardian. The latest $147 million sale includes artillery shells and related equipment to supplement a previous sale, with the State Department citing the “urgency of Israel’s defensive needs.” Officials maintain these sales align with US national interests and Israel’s security, though some lawmakers criticize bypassing oversight.
Over 21,600 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the war began in October, mostly civilians, and thousands more are missing under rubble, reports USA Today and NBC News. Gaza’s Health Ministry says 70% killed are women and children. Israel contends strikes target Hamas, not civilians. Meanwhile, around 130 Israeli and foreign hostages remain captive in Gaza, USA Today adds.
South Africa filed a case accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians at the International Court of Justice, Al Jazeera reports. Israel firmly rejected this as baseless. The UN says over 300 people sheltering in its Gaza facilities have been killed in strikes, NBC News notes. A U.S. citizen was charged with attempting to join Al-Shabaab after being inspired by Hamas’ October attacks, according to USA Today.
Senator Tim Kaine criticized the weapons transfers as lacking oversight, arguing Congress should have visibility, The Guardian states. Some international observers and U.S. lawmakers find sustaining Israel militarily while urging Gaza de-escalation strategically questionable, as over 20,600 have died. There are calls to condition Israel aid on protecting civilians.
Israel argues the weapons help defend against Hamas and destroy militant infrastructure while trying to minimize civilian harm, Al Jazeera adds. Hamas claims the U.S. is complicit in war crimes by backing Israel militarily. Analysts see contradictions in the U.S. pursuing conflicting policies on the conflict. The UN warns of risks of regional escalation and spillover. Tensions are high in the occupied West Bank and on Israel’s Lebanon border as well.