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Congress is pushing for $14b in more weapons to Israel.

Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR for NPR

Qusra, Occupied Palestinian Territory 

Home of initial site of settler attack. Palestinians were running to protect their home, and one of their cars was torched. (the one in front, the car in back is old and in decay). A neighboring child drove his bicycle past. 

Sisters, wives, mothers, cousins and community  gather and mourn at the Qusra wake for for four of the six men killed in Qusra. (a separate wake was under way for other two)

Since the beginning of the week, there have been dozens of violent incidents by settlers against Palestinians across the West Bank. In the most severe incident in the village of Qusra (South of Nablus), four Palestinians were killed, and nine were injured after settlers entered the village and opened fire. Soldiers of the IDF were also present at the incident, and it is still not clear whether the deaths were caused by settler fire or by the IDF. The day after the incident, during the funeral of the victims, settlers called on people to come and stop the funeral procession. Indeed, the funeral procession was attacked on its way to Qusra and a Palestinian father and son were killed. 

The Qusra mayor,Hani Abu Ala, gave us a tour of there house that had been under attack when the initial attack occurred, and showed us proximity of the settlements encroachment on their village. 

We attended a wake of four of those killed, young men named Muaz Abed Odeh, Hassan Muhaned Odeh, Musab abdelhalim Abu Reida, Obeidah sa’ed Abu Saroor.

Ahmed Wadi, 26, and his father Ibrahim, 63, were both killed by Israeli settlers at a funeral procession for four other Palestinians in Qusra village in the West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said this week.

After the Israeli military struck the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Iran’s government fired dozens of missiles and drones at Israel over the weekend. The retaliation sparked fears of a regional war and renewed bipartisan support for billions in more weapons to the Israeli military. 

Pro-Israel electeds on both sides of the House have seized this moment to push for an additional $14 billion in military funding to the Israeli government, apparently unconcerned by the devastation wreaked by U.S.-sourced weapons in Gaza over the last six months.

Let’s be clear: The Israeli government isn’t using U.S. weapons to defend itself. It’s using them to kill Palestinians. 

When the Israeli government says it’s under threat, the knee-jerk response in Washington is to give it whatever it says it needs to defend itself. That remains the case today, despite ample evidence that the Israeli government is using U.S. weapons to commit war crimes and has little interest in addressing U.S. concerns about allowing more humanitarian aid into Gaza. 

Promises made by the Israeli government after a tense phone call between President Biden and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu have yet to fully materialize. Israeli officials have claimed far more aid trucks a day are making it into Gaza — and the Biden administration has been unsurprisingly eager to support this narrative, which conveniently absolves it of responsibility for what is now a full-blown famine. Yet UNRWA has directly disputed the numbers touted by Israeli officials, and aid workers on the ground have said little has actually changed. This is what total impunity looks like.

Over the weekend, dozens of Democratic and Republican legislators signed a letter urging House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring a national security supplemental — which includes billions more in weapons to Israel — to an immediate vote. “Time is of the essence,” they wrote. “We must ensure critical aid is delivered to Israel and our other democratic allies facing threats from our adversaries around the world.” 

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers rampaged through Palestinian villages and towns in the Occupied West Bank. Working hand in glove with the Israeli military, they set dozens of homes and cars on fire, shooting live rounds and terrorizing local residents. At least eight Palestinians have been killed

In Gaza, Israeli snipers are shooting Palestinians trying to return to their homes in the devastated north, starving children are being critically injured trying to reach airdropped aid that fell into the Mediterranean Sea, and mass graves are being unearthed at Shifa hospital, where the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians massacred by the Israeli military lay buried, many of them still connected to catheters and cannulas. 

The Israeli government isn’t using U.S. weapons to defend itself. It’s using them to pursue its ultimate aim of maximum land, minimum Palestinians. We cannot allow these atrocities to be eclipsed by anti-Palestinian voices in Washington who will use any excuse to keep arming an apartheid state. Our movements remain as essential as ever, and our demands are the same: Ceasefire now. Stop arming Israel.

Tell Congress: Stop arming the Israeli military.

Our elected officials need to hear from us right now. Use our script to call your members of Congress and demand that they stop arming the Israeli military as it commits genocide against Palestinians.

Power Half Hours for Gaza.

Every day at 3pm ET/12pm PT, JVP hosts Power Half-Hours for Gaza. Sign up now to take collective action toward a ceasefire alongside hundreds of other people like you.

Passover 5784/2024: An Exodus From Zionism.

This year, as we gather for Passover, we hold both grief and resolve deep in our hearts. We know that this year is different from all other years.

Holding the lessons of Passover close, JVP has compiled these offerings so we may continue the sacred work of mobilizing to end genocide and apartheid — and of building an expansive practice of Judaism beyond Zionism.

What we’re reading.

James Bamford writes in The Nation that the U.S. National Security Agency is supplying “critical information” used by Israel’s Unit 8200 “to target tens of thousands of Palestinians for death” in Gaza. Moreover, he adds, “it is extremely powerful data-mining software, such as that from Palantir, that helps the IDF to select targets.”

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