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  /  News   /  House to vote on bill requiring weapons transfer to Israel

House to vote on bill requiring weapons transfer to Israel

(NewsNation) — The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that would force President Joe Biden to follow through on arms transfers to Israel.

This comes after the Biden administration, citing concern for civilian casualties in Gaza, paused a recent bomb shipment to Israel to keep those particular munitions from being used as it continues the offensive in Rafah. World leaders have warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to limit operations in the southern Gaza city, where many Palestinians have fled to after being displaced by the Israel-Hamas War.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel lacked a “credible plan” to protect some 1.4 million Palestinian civilians in Rafah and warned an Israeli attack could create an insurgency by failing to kill all Hamas fighters in the southern Gaza city.

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Israel’s military operation in Gaza has killed at least 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. This offensive followed the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel in which members of the militant group killed 1,200 people and took 250 hostage.

House Republicans have criticized the weapons freeze from earlier this month and are now pushing legislation that requires munitions to be delivered to Israel within 15 days of it being enacted, NewsNation partner The Hill reported.

The bill, expected to be brought for a vote in the House Thursday, would also defund the offices of the State and Defense departments until all of the aid meant for Israel is sent.

Congressional sources tell NewsNation that Democratic leadership is trying to get their members to vote against this bill.

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House Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in an interview with NewsNation Wednesday that the bill is not a serious effort to protect America’s national security. Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md. told NewsNation that the legislation doesn’t address issues in Israel or Gaza.

“If we want to move this conflict to a bilateral ceasefire let’s do that. If we want to get more humanitarian aid, let’s do that,” Ivey said. “I don’t think this addresses either of those.”

Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, pushed back on comments like these.

“We can’t just say ‘I stand with Israel,’ we have to actually stand with Israel,” Gonzales said. “You can’t play politics in the middle of a war.” 

Despite Thursday’s anticipated vote in the House, the measure has little chance in the Senate and even less of a shot at receiving Biden’s signature. In addition, congressional aides said to the Associated Press that the Biden administration has told key lawmakers it plans to move forward on a new $1 billion sale of arms and ammunition to Israel. That would be the first shipment of weapons to Israel since the last one was put on hold.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.