Pelosi joins call for Biden to stop transfer of US weapons to Israel

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Representative Nancy Pelosi, former House speaker and a key ally of Joe Biden, signed a letter on Friday from dozens of congressional Democrats to the president and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging a halt to weapons transfers to Israel.

Israel’s military assault on Gaza, which followed Palestinian Islamist group Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, has come under increasing international criticism as the Gaza health ministry has reported more than 33,000 people have died in the war and the narrow coastal enclave suffers widespread famine.

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Support from Pelosi, a veteran member of Biden’s Democratic Party, for stopping the transfer of weapons to Israel showed that the view is increasingly becoming mainstream in the party.

Friday’s letter called on the Biden administration to conduct its own probe into an Israeli airstrike that killed seven staff of the aid group World Central Kitchen on Monday.

“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,” the letter said. It was signed by Pelosi and 36 other Democrats including Representatives Barbara Lee, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Israeli military said on Friday it dismissed two officers and formally reprimanded senior commanders after an inquiry into the aid workers’ deaths found serious errors and breaches of procedure. Biden held a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday in which he said Israel needed to do more to protect civilians or the US would change its policy.

Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies. Israel’s subsequent military assault on Hamas-governed Gaza has displaced nearly all its 2.3 million population and led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

Read more:

Growing pressure on UK to halt weapon sales to Israel after aid workers deaths

UN Human Rights Council demands halt to all arms sales to Israel

Israel says it was targeting ‘Hamas gunman’ when it killed WCK aid workers in Gaza

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