House Dems urge Biden to target Israel military aid over Gaza humanitarian concerns

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A group of House Democrats is suggesting President Biden weigh cutting off military assistance to Israel over accusations it is restricting aid to Gaza, something the Middle Eastern U.S. ally has denied.

The six lawmakers, led by Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, called the situation in Gaza a “humanitarian catastrophe” in a weekend letter to Biden.

They urged him to “make clear” to Israel that it is in violation of long-standing U.S. law that blocks foreign aid to countries that are preventing the U.S. from getting humanitarian aid somewhere else.

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President Biden in Oval Office

Progressives have urged President Biden to take a firmer stance on Israel. (AP/Evan Vucci)

“For months following Hamas’ horrific October 7th attacks, which you and the U.S. Congress have rightly condemned, you have urged the Israeli government to exercise its right to self-defense judiciously while prioritizing the protection of innocent lives. Instead, the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has restricted the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza by placing onerous burdens on the oversight of aid, severely limiting entry points for aid delivery, and arbitrarily preventing food, medicine, and other supplies from entering Gaza,” the letter said.

“Given the catastrophic and devolving humanitarian situation in Gaza, we urge you to enforce the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act… and, as required by that law, make clear to the Israeli government that so long as Israel continues to restrict the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, the continued provision of U.S. security assistance to Israel would constitute a violation of existing U.S. law and must be restricted.”

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Joaquin Castro

Rep. Joaquin Castro led the latest letter pushing Biden to restrict aid to Israel. (Getty Images)

The Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act prohibits U.S. foreign aid from going to a country whose government is restricting or blocking U.S. humanitarian aid.

“While dialogue between allies is a key part of diplomacy, words are no longer enough to meet the humanitarian crisis of Gaza’s scale nor to protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians seeking shelter in the war zone,” the Democrats wrote. “We urge you to act on the law and demonstrate to Prime Minister Netanyahu that U.S. support has firm limits and does not include enabling conditions that will lead to famine in Gaza.”

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Arguments over the U.S. role in Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas have splintered the Democratic Party. Biden has taken heat from progressives for not doing enough to curb Israel’s retaliation, while more moderate Democrats have continued to stand by the Middle Eastern nation.

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The Palestinian refugee-centered United Nations agency UNRWA said over the weekend that Israel is no longer allowing its food convoys in northern Gaza. UNRWA itself has been under scrutiny over allegations its workers and people associated with it played a role in the brutal Oct. 7 Hamas attack in southern Israel. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for a response to the letter.

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