A resolution that would have forced the U.S. State Department to determine if Israel is engaging in human rights violations during its administration of the war in Gaza failed Tuesday in the Senate.
The request, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), was defeated 72 – 11, with ten Democrats and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) voting in support of the measure. A simple majority was needed to defeat the instruction.
If the bill passed, and the State Department determined that the Israeli military was culpable of violating human rights in their operations, then Congress could move to terminate financial assistance to the Jewish state under the Foreign Assistance Act.
The White House had previously stated that it opposed the legislation.
The Israeli government has repeatedly rejected any claims that its armed forces are not cautious about minimizing civilian casualties or is neglecting to provide humanitarian assistance to the Gazan population.
In a December statement, a government spokesperson reiterated that, “Israel has made it clear that the residents of the Gaza Strip are not the enemy and is making every effort to limit harm to the non-involved and to allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip.”
Since the beginning of the conflict, the IDF has allowed a numerous and consistent supply of aid to be delivered to civilians, either directly provided by their own personnel or from third-party sources.
Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has been one of Washington’s most vocal critics of Jerusalem’s attempts to eradicate the Hamas terrorist organization. The Senator has referred to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the situation in the coastal enclave as “immoral.”
17 members of the chamber were not present for the vote.
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