NEW YORK (VINnews) —Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez submitted an amendment last week to the annual United States defense spending bill which would block the sale of precision-guided munitions to Israel.
According to a statement released by her office Thursday, the suggested amendment 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.
At the same time Ocasio-Cortez submitted amendments to prevent weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Colombia over alleged human rights abuses.
Ocasio-Cortez explained her move in a tweet, stating that her amendment referred to Israels’ “bombing of Palestinian civilians [and] media centers” in a reference to the recent Protective Edge campaign in which a building which housed the offices of AP and Al-Jazeera was targeted by Israel. At the time Israel claimed the building was being used to subvert the Iron Dome missile defense system. It also gave prior warning before demolishing the building and nobody was injured in the Israeli attack.
The amendment is the second attempt by Ocasio-Cortez to block the JDAM sale to Israel. After the Biden administration notified Congress of the projected weapons transfer on May 5, Ocasio-Cortez together with Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Mark Pocan submitted a resolution of disapproval to block the sale. However the matter was not brought to vote at the time and The State Department then granted the Boeing weapons manufacturer a commercial license to sell JDAMs and Small Diameter Bombs to Israel.
Ambassador to the US and the UN Gilad Erdan criticized Ocasio-Cortez for her new amendment on Sunday, stating he would “expect a Congressperson to understand that Israel is defending its citizens against Hamas.”
“Your amendment further legitimizes their heinous attacks against innocent civilians, as well as antisemitic lies,” Erdan wrote on Twitter. “Israel is a world leader in the fight against terrorism, and our partnership has helped prevent terrorist attacks against American citizens,” the ambassador added.