The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

House Democrats Demanding Biden Halt Weapons to Israel


In a letter to the president, the lawmakers expressed their “outrage regarding the recent Israeli airstrike which killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers”


FOLLOWING THE KILLING of seven World Central Kitchen workers by an Israeli strike while delivering food to Gaza earlier this week, House Democrats wrote a letter on Friday to U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging them to halt the the transfer of weapons to Israel until a full investigation into the airstrike was completed.

The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Mark Pocan, Jim McGovern and Jan Schakowsky, was signed by 40 lawmakers including Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“In light of this incident, we strongly urge you to reconsider your recent decision to authorize the transfer of a new arms package to Israel, and to withhold this and any future offensive arms transfers until a full investigation into the airstrike is completed,” wrote the representatives. “If this strike is found to have violated U.S. or international law, we urge you to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable. We also urge you to withhold these transfers if Israel fails to sufficiently mitigate harm to innocent civilians in Gaza, including aid workers, and if it fails to facilitate – or arbitrarily denies or restricts – the transport and delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

In a statement to Rolling Stone, a spokesperson for Pelosi said she is “sympathetic to some of the thoughts in the letter, and she feels very strongly that there must be a comprehensive, independent investigation into the horrific killing of the World Central Kitchen heroes,” adding, “Speaker Pelosi knows President Biden’s support for Israel and empathy with the innocent civilians in Gaza, and she respects his judgment in how to proceed.”


The letter also addressed reports that an estimated 32,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7, and that the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification initiative (IPC) recently warned that widespread famine is imminent and “expected to occur anytime between now and the next month if there is not an immediate cessation of hostilities.”

“In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers. We again strongly urge you to withhold any offensive weapons transfers until the investigation into the airstrike is concluded and, if it is found this strike violated U.S. or international law, those responsible are held accountable,” the lawmakers emphasized. “And we again urge you to ensure that any future military assistance to Israel, including already authorized transfers, is subject to conditions to ensure it is used in compliance with U.S. and international law.”

While earlier this week, Biden warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate actions” regarding U.S. demands for Israel to take concrete steps to address the humanitarian crisis in the besieged region — his administration has been criticized for not supporting his condemnation of the killings with actionable policy. 

This article was updated on April 5 at 10:04 p.m. E.T. to included a statement from Nancy Pelosi’s spokesperson.





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