Congress expressed unequivocal support for Israel, while harshly condemning Hamas. The backing was not only in words – it will grant one of largest-ever U.S. military aid packages to the Jewish State.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution last week condemning Hamas’ criminal conduct, including the use of civilians as human shields.
The resolution, co-sponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), also expressed support for the sovereign right of Israel to defend its territory and its citizens from Hamas rocket attacks, kidnapping attempts and terror tunnels.
The resolution stated support for Palestinian civilians who reject Hamas and all forms of terrorism and violence, desiring to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. Congress voiced support for efforts to demilitarize Gaza, removing Hamas’ ability to target Israel.
Congress also condemned the UN Human Rights Council decision last month to establish a commission of inquiry into Israel’s Gaza operations, calling it “biased.”
The initiative received further support from the U.S. House of Representatives, which unanimously passed the resolution the next day.
“This week Republicans and Democrats from both the House and Senate have sent an unequivocal message to the world: We uphold Israel’s right to self-defense and condemn Hamas’ barbaric use of civilians as human shields. It is unconscionable that Israel, which goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent civilian casualties, is singled out for condemnation by the United Nations while Hamas’ vicious, cruel actions are ignored,” Cruz stated. “I thank my colleagues in both chambers for their support of Israel, and I hope that leaders around the world will unite with Congress and denounce Hamas’ acts of terror.”
Converting Words Into Action
Congress is backing the resolution with action and is expected to pass the U.S. spending bill, which includes $3.7 billion in military aid to Israel.
The aid is comprised of the $3.1 billion in regular annual military aid and $619 million for Israel’s missile defense system program, including the Iron Dome anti-missile system ,which played a crucial role during Operation Protective Edge by minimizing civilian casualties.
Globes reports that this will be one of the largest-ever American military aid packages granted to Israel, which began in 2011 and should amount to $1.2 billion for Iron Dome by the end of 2015.
President Barack Obama also asked Congress to allocate $96 million for the “Arrow” long-range and “David’s Sling” medium-range missile defense systems. Congress legislators decided to add $172 million to this amount for a total of $269 million in aid, an identical sum to that granted in 2014.
Globes quotes sources in Jerusalem as saying that Israel is enormously grateful to Washington that all its requests for military aid have been fulfilled despite the difficult economic situation confronting the U.S.
By: United with Israel Staff
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