US Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent US Senator who often comes to the fore with his efforts on human rights and democracy, had his bill to condition military aid to Israel on the condition that the country "does not violate human rights" rejected by the US Senate.
In the vote in the 100-seat Senate, 72 senators voted "no", while 11 senators said "yes" to the bill.
The bill, which was seen as unlikely to become law but was considered as a symbolic reaction to the policy of unconditional military support to Israel, would have conditioned US military aid to Israel on "not violating the human rights of this country".
Aiming to invoke the US Foreign Assistance Act, the bill would require the US State Department to regularly report to Congress "on whether Israel is violating human rights in Gaza."
CIVILIAN CASUALTIES HIGHLIGHTED
Speaking in the Senate last week, Sanders pointed out that the US is responsible for the civilian casualties in Gaza as a result of its military assistance. "This aggressive military campaign has led to massive destruction and widespread civilian casualties," Sanders said, adding, "There is extensive evidence that this is by far the most intense bombardment of the 21st century." "Given the scale of the destruction and the use of US weapons, including thousands of massive 2,000-pound bombs, Congress must act to conduct a real audit," Sanders said.
Referring to Sanders' resolution, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, "We don't believe this resolution is the right vehicle to address these issues. We don't think now is the right time either."