IDF Kills 18 Kids Hours After House Votes Billions to Israel

The latest strikes on the southern Gaza city bring laws governing U.S. transfers of weaponry into the spotlight, reports Jake Johnson.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv on Jan. 9, 2024. (Amos Ben Gershom, Government Press Office of Israel, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams

Hours after the U.S. House approved legislation that would send billions of dollars in additional military aid to Israel, the country’s forces killed nearly two dozen people in Rafah, the southern Gaza city where more than half of the enclave’s population is sheltering.

Gaza health officials said Sunday that the weekend strikes on Rafah — a former “safe zone” that Israel has been threatening to invade for weeks — killed 22 people, including 18 children. The Associated Press (AP) reported that the first of the Israeli strikes “killed a man, his wife, and their 3-year-old child, according to the nearby Kuwaiti Hospital, which received the bodies.”

AP added:

“The woman was pregnant and the doctors saved the baby, the hospital said. The second strike killed 17 children and two women from an extended family.”

Israeli forces have killed more than 14,000 children in Gaza since October, but the Biden administration and American lawmakers have refused to back growing international calls to cut off the supply of weaponry and other military equipment even as U.S. voters express support for an arms embargo.

The measure the House approved on Saturday includes $26 billion in funding for Israel, much of which is military assistance. U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL), one of the 58 House lawmakers who voted against the legislation, wrote on social media late Sunday:

“Just a day after the House voted to send $14 billion in unconditional military funding to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s campaign of death and destruction, he bombed the safe zone of Rafah AGAIN, killing 22 Palestinians, of which 18 were CHILDREN! History books will write about today and the past seven months, and how our nation’s leaders lacked the courage and moral clarity to stand up to a tyrant. Shameful.”

The military aid package for Israel now heads to the U.S. Senate, which is set to consider the bill early this week. U.S. President Joe Biden, who has continued to greenlight arms sales to Israel amid clear evidence of war crimes, is expected to sign the measure if it reaches his desk.

 Arms Move Contrary to Law

U.S. law prohibits “arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law,” according to a White House memo issued in February.

The U.S. State Department has said repeatedly that it has not found Israel to be in violation of international law, a position that runs directly counter to the findings of leading humanitarian organizations and United Nations experts.

The investigative outlet ProPublica reported last week that a “special State Department panel recommended months ago that Secretary of State Antony Blinken disqualify multiple Israeli military and police units from receiving U.S. aid after reviewing allegations that they committed serious human rights abuses” prior to the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on southern Israel. ProPublica further noted:

“But Blinken has failed to act on the proposal in the face of growing international criticism of the Israeli military’s conduct in Gaza, according to current and former State Department officials.”

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), said in a statement on Sunday that senators “should reject sending additional weapons to Israel not only because our laws prohibit military aid to abusive regimes, but because it’s extremely damaging to our national interests.”

DAWN’s advocacy director, Raed Jarrar, added that,

“At a time when Israel is bracing for International Criminal Court arrest warrants against its leaders, members of Congress should understand that approving more military aid could subject them to personal liability for aiding and abetting an ongoing genocide in Gaza. Rather than sending more weapons to Israel Congress should declare an immediate arms embargo on Israel.”

Jake Johnson is a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

14 comments for “IDF Kills 18 Kids Hours After House Votes Billions to Israel

  1. susan
    April 24, 2024 at 13:52

    Headline in todays piece of trash the NYT: “A good Day for World Peace – Biden signs Aid Bill for Ukraine and Israel” World Peace?? Aid Bill?? Who do these people think they are kidding? More murder and mayhem is more like it…

  2. Realist
    April 24, 2024 at 12:28

    Well, who can blame them? They think that never-ending war, carnage, genocide and child abuse is what America wants, irrespective of what we claim! We prove it again and again in our practice of political “freedom” and “democracy.”

    We vote in Barack Obama as the president in the wake of Warmonger-in-chief Dubya Bush who had quadrupled down on Warmongering president William Jefferson Clinton ( Just an eensie wag of the dog for Monica!)… and we functionally end up with John McCain, the perennial warmonger who established the brand, at least among the Boomer generation. Like, who could have predicted–we always say!

    Of course, alleged “peacenik” and Nobel laureate Obama chooses perennial warmonger Joe Biden as his designated successor (VP), along with all the pre-arranged wars meant to keep us busy for at least another generation.

    We vote in Donald Trump as president to preclude the ascension of uber-warmonger Hillary Clinton who had out-manoeuvred Herr Biden, whilst thieving directly from Bernie Sanders, in the endless in-fighting amongst Democratic warmongers during the primaries (which seem never to end).

    But the Deep State, which selects and breeds only warmongers in BOTH supposedly independent major parties, is so incensed at Trump’s Inauguration Day speech promising to pursue an actual independent agenda of peace and cooperation with other world leaders that they both surreptitiously and conspicuously commission Hillary and the Democrats to endlessly carp, complain, threaten and harass all moves by Trump in the White House and on all international forums, going so far as to paint him as nothing but a puppet, a rubber stamp of that nefarious ne’er-do-well in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin. Regardless of Trump’s wishes, statements or official directives, his administration is essentially constrained by the American “government” at all other levels to de-facto rule as though he were just another incarnation of President McCain. (Meanwhile the carping and deceit from Hillary NEVER ceases. Look for her to start a power struggle in Pandemonium against Satan some day.)

    In America’s idiosyncratic application of “freedom and democracy” (or was it “femdom and mockery?”) the “Ole Warmonger” himself, soon to be known as “Genocide Joe,” was finagled into office as president of the vast American realm using deceit, extortion, bribery and numerous other crooked measures that must have made his Ukrainian counterpart–one Volodimyr Zelensky– more than a bit envious. The Ukies are, after all, the reigning champs of state-sponsored corruption, whether determined by media poll, accidental defenestrations or officially-verified coups d’etat, making the partnership of this latest un-interrupted administration of yet another President John McCain and his contemporary vassal of choice another wondrous match in the bowels of Langley, Arlington and Wall Street. As you can see, no matter whom we Americans vote for, we are always so lucky as to end up being led yet again by another issue of President John McCain.

  3. Mike
    April 23, 2024 at 22:12

    The best way to stop the killing is to bring the anti Israeli protests into the streets and boycott everything coming from Israel and the US, UK arms manufacturers. Israel is a pariah state with no conscious which is being backed by the same low lifes (Biden, Blinken etc in the US & UK. ). The US government is made up of spineless creatures who don’t have the courage to stand up to the israeli lobbyists who are happy to line their pockets with lots of cash.

  4. John Prehn
    April 23, 2024 at 16:14

    This US genocide is right in our faces. (Genocide is a US tradition, going back to the founding, but maybe we thought it was over. Nope,) If the perps in Congress and the Admin are never punished, then what? (If Israel thinks it is going to complete its “cleansing” and come back to be a nation among nations, we hope another think is coming…hopefully, the state of Israel will die a slow death….and its “leadership” of psychotic sadists duly punished…) Are we just going to move on here in the US, re-elect Genocide Joe or the psycho clown, and work on upping the GNP via arms trafficking, oil drilling, etc.? Looks like it. But please, no meowing when violent reaction hits the fan: YOU unspeakable fuckers knowingly perpetrated massive atrocity. Such high piles of dead children! YOUR legacy–at least, let us never forget.

  5. LeoSun
    April 23, 2024 at 12:54

    “Heads Up, America,” every day is Earth Day; &, *“There will be NO Ceasefire!!! “[THEY]” got their bottle; & they’re doubling down.”

    ….”They,” Blinken, Sullivan, Biden-Harris, Austin, Kirby, KJP, the MSMedia, print & t.v., crying out, in the name of, by, & for National $ecurity aka the M.I.C.; &, for National Intere$ts aka Corporations & the U$ Congress, i.e., * “Poor me, poor me, pour me another.”

    “U.S. law prohibits “arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law,” IMO, the U$G’s “work-around,” the world, in effect, is the U$G’s International & Domestic Rules Based Order. The IRBO/RBO is the mother lode that trumps any & all violations of human rights &/or international humanitarian law, willfully committed by the U$G’s M.I.C., in partnership w/the WH, the DoJ, the C.I.A., the FBI, & the U.$. Congress.

    [Everybody, knows], * “that the real criminals are in Washington. Not in the United Nations. The real criminals are in the White House, not in the Elysee Palace. The real criminals are in the [U.S.] Congress,” NOT the in the streets being arrested, incarcerated, fined for resisting the crimes against humanity aka genocide, wholeheartedly $upported by the USG. The PEOPLE, in the streets, around the world, are 100% against, the occupation in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Middle East, Africa, etc. Against, genocide. Against the targeting of Palestinians, Humanitarian Aide Workers, investigative journalists. Against being targeted, arrested, incarcerated, fined for standing up for the Occupied; &, the Occupier!

    The “ask,” of The Zionist Beast w/it’s far eaching tentacles & dirty, grubby, infected, bloody claws, that handle Blinken, Biden, Harris, Austin, et al., 1) “Stop the Killing!” 2) Stop exporting, Made in the USA, weapons for mass destruction, to Israel, Ukraine, etc., 3) Reclaim sanity!! 4) Retire the USG’s POTUS, Biden-Harris, to the REHABoth Compound, by the beach, forever, whis doctor, FLOTUS, 5) Give us peace on earth! FREE, Julian Assange. Save the Palestinians. Save the planet. Don’t Nuke It!!! TY. Ciao

    * Quotes by George Galloway, MP Rochdale, England

    ……. BTW, “George Galloway is back in Parliament with a resounding win in the Rochdale by-election after a campaign in which the Gaza war was a running theme. “Keir Starmer – this is for Gaza,” the former Labour MP said, after polling 12,335 votes, nearly 6,000 more than any other candidate. Mr Galloway will take his Commons seat for the Workers Party of Britain.” HEAR! HEAR!! “Keep It Lit!” Ciao

  6. James P McFadden
    April 23, 2024 at 11:45

    “[The] first lessons a national security manager learns … is that toughness is the most highly prized virtue … to be repelled by mass homicide, is to be ‘irresponsible’ … [they are] fascinated by lethal technology … weaponry is revolutionary … violence as routine … killing in the national interest … Those who recommend more killing … do not seriously jeopardize their position” Richard Barnet “Roots of War”

  7. Piotr Berman
    April 23, 2024 at 11:30

    “U.S. law prohibits “arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law,” according to a White House memo issued in February.

    The U.S. State Department has said repeatedly that it has not found Israel to be in violation of international law,”

    The weird, utterly amoral world of US State Department. But China, according to Blinken, engages in Uighur genocide. Moreover, Neos (libs and cons) worry about “American credibility” which they understand exclusively as making threats and following on those threats. More normally understood credibility is in shreds. Combination of evil, stupidity and power.

  8. michael888
    April 23, 2024 at 08:23

    In the US you cannot even protest the murdering of tens of thousands of children by a foreign government, as many naive idealist University students are discovering. They are endangering “National Security” (or at least Israel’s and Ukraine’s national security, more important than the US’s).

    “National Security” has always been the watchwords of totalitarian dictators.

  9. Tony
    April 23, 2024 at 07:17

    President Herzog, a Labor Party politician.

    How is he any better than Netanyahu?

  10. Francis Lee
    April 23, 2024 at 03:31

    There’s seems no stopping the IDF Kiddie-Killers as they run amok in Palestine. In all my long life I don’t think I have borne witness to anything quite like this wanton carnage. I recall the time in Vietnam when we took down LBI to the refrain of ”Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today.” At least he had the decency to resign, but this lot will go down in history. The, the whole neo-liberal bloc are signed up to the slaughter: The US naturally, but you can also throw in the UK, France, Germany and the rest of the EU bloc.

  11. firstpersoninfinite
    April 23, 2024 at 00:05

    Why do Blinken and Biden not care? Because they have no plans to follow international law. They have no plans to follow their own Constitutional law going forward, any more than Bush or Obama, or even Trump and Biden did. The division of the world into two halves is slowly being completed, or else one must believe that all these leaders are so stupid that they believe they can make decisions now which will guarantee US hegemony over the entire world. They only want hegemony over enough weak countries to make certain that the hegemony of money continues at a level commiserate with our national needs, i.e. the needs of the ruling oligarchy. And it obviously has no relationship whatsoever with the needs of the citizenry of the US itself. As I’ve said before, there is no reason to believe that the upcoming US election will actually happen, or at least that the results themselves will have any meaning going forward. Either party is prepared to declare parity with the opposing party to make certain that power continues its gluttony at the same troughs it already owns. That was proven this past weekend in Congress. This is all a destroy and hold operation against our own citizenry, because whatever we fund to create chaos and death for others will eventually come back to us, but we’ll continue to watch our Marvel movies and call it simply the preservation of our unexceeded exceptionalism.

    • Dawn Hietikko
      April 23, 2024 at 13:21

      Wow, a lot to connect together! It is a system of hierarchical supremacy, not just two sides, that’s very helpful, thank you.

  12. Jeff Harrison
    April 22, 2024 at 23:39

    Murderous thugs.

  13. Patrick Powers
    April 22, 2024 at 21:38

    The USA doesn’t give a damn about law except when they can use it to further their own ends.

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