Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has submitted an amendment to the annual United States defense spending bill to block the sale of precision-guided munitions to Israel.
According to a statement released on Thursday by her office, the resolution would prevent the transfer of $735 million worth of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail kits to Israel. The kits turn unguided bombs into GPS guided missiles.
Ocasio-Cortez also submitted amendments to prevent weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Colombia over alleged human rights abuses.
In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said that the amendment relating to Israel was “over the bombing of Palestinian civilians [and] media centers,” apparently referring to the bombing of a building in Gaza City that housed the offices of the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.
Israel has said that the building was used by Hamas to try to disrupt the Iron Dome missile defense system during the 11-day conflict in May. The Israeli military gave occupants of the building an hour to evacuate before the airstrike. No one was injured, but the high-rise was flattened into a pile of rubble.
In this year’s NDAA, I’ve intro’d 7 amendments, including blocking specific US weapons transactions to:
– Saudi gov over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi
– Colombia gov over its violent crackdown on protesters,&
– Israeli gov over the bombing of Palestinian civilians, media centers https://t.co/eMHIApDLAk
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 17, 2021
The amendment is the second attempt by Ocasio-Cortez to block the JDAM sale to Israel. After the Biden administration formally notified Congress of the weapons transfer on May 5, she — along with Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Mark Pocan — submitted a joint resolution of disapproval to block the sale.
However, the matter was never brought to a vote, as the Senate version of the resolution sponsored by Bernie Sanders was determined to have been submitted too late. The State Department went on to grant the Boeing weapons manufacturer a commercial license to sell JDAMs and Small Diameter Bombs to Israel.