President Biden added a layer of scrutiny to U.S. weapons sales to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, issuing guidance on how they can be used and linking them to humanitarian assistance.
Under pressure from Senate Democrats critical of the civilian suffering in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s war against Hamas, the president issued a memorandum Thursday night that outlined the new guidance. It requires the U.S. to receive assurances from those countries that weapons being used in an active conflict comply with international law, and that no efforts are made to obstruct the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in a combat zone.
The memorandum mirrors an amendment filed late last year by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and supported by 18 Senate Democrats, who have said the U.S. needed to exert more pressure on Israel to protect civilian life and increase the flow of humanitarian assistance to those in need.
“All of these key elements of the amendment have now been incorporated into the national security memo issued by the president,” Van Hollen said in a call with reporters Thursday evening, and added that he would be withdrawing the amendment. ... Read More: The Hill