Forty-nine of the 51 members of the Senate Democratic caucus backed an amendment supporting a negotiated solution to the conflict that results in Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side…reports Asian Lite News
An overwhelming majority of President Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats in the Senate on Wednesday backed a statement reiterating US support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Forty-nine of the 51 members of the Senate Democratic caucus backed an amendment supporting a negotiated solution to the conflict that results in Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side, ensuring Israel’s survival as a secure, democratic, Jewish state and fulfilling the Palestinians’ “legitimate aspirations” for a state of their own.
Senator Brian Schatz introduced the measure as an amendment to an upcoming bill that would provide national security aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.
“What will determine the future of Israel and Palestine is whether or not there’s hope. And the two-state solution has to be that hope,” Schatz told a news conference.
With war raging in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference this month that he objected to any Palestinian statehood that did not guarantee Israel’s security.
The statement provoked international concern, including from Israel’s biggest backer the United States. Washington maintains that the two-state solution is the only feasible way to bring lasting peace to the region.
The only two Democratic senators who did not sign onto the amendment were John Fetterman and Joe Manchin.
Fetterman has long supported a two-state solution, but he believed the measure should include language stipulating the destruction of Hamas as a precondition to peace, an aide said.
Manchin issued a statement, in which he said: “Once a Palestinian government with its peoples’ best interests at heart agrees that Israel should be a state, I will be the first one to sign on to a bipartisan amendment supporting that Israel recognize a Palestinian state.”
Many of Biden’s fellow Democrats in Congress have been pushing the administration to do more to address the steep toll on Palestinian civilians of Israel’s campaign against Hamas since the militant group’s deadly assault on Oct. 7.
Earlier, on Monday, US imposed its fifth round of sanctions on Hamas since October 7 attack, targeting the financial networks of the group. Along with the US, the sanctions on Hamas were imposed by the United Kingdom and Australia also.
“The United States is today imposing its fifth round of sanctions on Hamas since the October 7 attack on Israel. Today’s action targets networks of Hamas-affiliated financial exchanges in Gaza, their owners, and associates,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“Along with Australian and UK partners, we are imposing additional sanctions on Hamas. This is the fifth round of sanctions by the US since the October 7 attack. Today’s action targets Hamas-affiliated financial exchange networks in Gaza, their owners, and associates,” US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller posted on X.
According to the State Department, the US action targets networks of Hamas-affiliated financial exchanges in Gaza, their owners, and associates.
In another major development, the US also designated Iraqi airline Fly Baghdad and its CEO for allegedly supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and “Iran-aligned militia groups” in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
“We are designating an Iraqi airline, its CEO, three individuals, and a business that support Kata’ib Hizballah. We are committed to exposing and taking actions against those who abuse their economies and engage in illegal activities to support groups destabilizing the region,” Miller said in a subsequent post.
“The United States is today designating Iraqi airline Fly Baghdad and its CEO for supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Iran-aligned militia groups in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon,” the US State Department statement read.
It also identified two Iraq-registered aircraft owned by Fly Baghdad as ‘blocked property’.
The US also designated three leaders and supporters of Kata’ib Hizballah, one of the IRGC-QF’s Iran-aligned militias in Iraq, and one business that facilitates and launders funds for Kata’ib Hizballah.
“The IRGC-QF and Iran-aligned militia groups pose a significant threat to the Middle East region. Kata’ib Hizballah has been responsible for a series of drone and missile attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria since Hamas’s horrific attack on Israel on October 7,” the State Department said in a statement.