Days Before Approving Humanitarian Aid to Gaza, State Department Agreed to Contentious Bomb Sale to Israel

TODAY, the Biden administration committed more than $5 million to rebuilding Gaza after Israeli bombing left swathes of the territory in ruins, with medical facilities, homes, and roads destroyed or damaged by the aerial attack that killed at least 248 people this month.

But even as the administration takes steps to aid Gaza, its State Department has approved a $735-million sale of bombs to Israel, bypassing congressional opposition. On May 21st, according to a congressional staffer, the department granted Boeing an export license for the sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs—two kinds of laser-guided munitions that were reportedly used by Israel in the 11-day attack on the Gaza Strip that ended on Friday with a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. 

Against the backdrop of new weapons sales, humanitarian aid “is a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, and the US is paying for the Band-Aid, the bullet, and the gun,” Raed Jarrar, advocacy director for the human rights group Democracy for the Arab World Now, said in an interview. “Humanitarian aid is important, but the US government should stop its support for Israel’s blockade and attacks on Gaza rather than subsidizing the status quo.”

jewishcurrents Days Before Approving Humanitarian Aid to Gaza, State Department Agreed to Contentious Bomb Sale to Israel