Bernie Sanders brings resolution to halt $735m US arms sale to Israel – live | US news
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his security cabinet in a couple of hours to discuss a possible ceasefire in Gaza, according to a correspondent at Walla News.
Biden called on Netanyahu to work toward a ceasefire yesterday, but the prime minister then said Israeli is “determined” to continue the Gaza airstrikes until their aims are met.
However, Israeli military leaders have now signaled they believe the attacks have already achieved their “goals”.
The Guardian’s Oliver Holmes and Julian Borger report:
Israel and Palestinian militants halted their fire for several hours early on Thursday as efforts to reach a truce appeared to gather momentum, a day after Joe Biden called publicly for progress towards a ceasefire.
It was not immediately clear if the eight-hour quiet – the longest since the attacks began 11 days ago – was part of an agreement or a temporary lull in the violence.
The brief calm was broken later on Thursday when air-raid sirens sounded in Israel near the Gaza frontier, and Israel’s military said a fighter jet had struck a rocket launcher.
However, previous ceasefires have been preceded by similar hours-long halts in fighting, which are seen as a trust-building measure. A Hamas official had earlier said a ceasefire was in reach, and Israeli media reports suggested the military believed its “goals” had largely been met.
Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.
Progressive senator Bernie Sanders plans to introduce a resolution today disapproving of the US selling $735 million of weapons to Israel, according to multiple reports.
The Washington Post reports:
The resolution aims to halt the planned sale to Israel by the Biden administration of JDAMs, or Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and Small Diameter Bombs, as the worst hostilities in years continue between Israel and Hamas. The resolution needs only a simple majority to pass the Senate; but if it were to be vetoed by President Joe Biden, it would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers to take effect.
Sanders told the Post: “At a moment when US-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a congressional debate.”
The resolution comes a day after Biden called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make immediate progress toward “de-escalation” in Gaza. A ceasefire appears to be within reach after days of violence that have killed hundreds of people, most of them Palestinian.
The blog will have more details on the resolution and the potential ceasefire coming up, so stay tuned.
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