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With 70 Percent of Gaza Homes Destroyed, Biden Approves $147M Israel Arms Sale

As many as 80 percent of buildings in northern Gaza have been destroyed, a recent analysis found.

Palestinians search through building rubble for survivors following Israeli strikes on the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on December 25, 2023.

Israel’s U.S.-sponsored ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza has destroyed 70 percent of homes in the area in less than three months, according to a report released last week as the U.S. State Department announced that it is once again bypassing Congress to send more arms to Israel.

According to a Wall Street Journal report released on Saturday, by mid-December, Israel’s bombardment had destroyed roughly 300,000 of Gaza’s 439,000 homes and 50 percent of buildings in the region. Israel has used roughly 29,000 bombs in its bombardment, according to U.S. officials, which the analysis finds has destroyed a wide range of buildings, including residential areas and hospitals, as well as shopping malls, historic sites, and places of worship.

“The word ‘Gaza’ is going to go down in history along with Dresden and other famous cities that have been bombed,” University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape told the WSJ, referring to the Allied bombing of Dresden, Germany, that leveled nearly the entire city and killed tens of thousands of civilians. “What you’re seeing in Gaza is in the top 25 percent of the most intense punishment campaigns in history.”

An analysis of satellite imagery by City University of New York and Oregon State University found that, in northern Gaza, as many as 80 percent of buildings are destroyed, which is a higher proportion than the destruction in Dresden.

So far, Israel’s genocide has killed over 22,000 Palestinians, including more than 9,100 children. The genocide has also displaced roughly 85 percent of the region’s 2.2 million people. Rebuilding after the destruction — something that Israel is unlikely to allow, with officials seemingly set on total ethnic cleansing of the region — and finding homes for displaced will take “decades,” Kingston University London post-conflict expert Caroline Sandes told WSJ.

This destruction has been heavily enabled by the U.S., with at least 22,000 of the bombs used by Israeli forces so far being U.S.-provided. The Biden administration is currently seeking to send yet more weapons to Israel.

On Friday, the State Department announced that it is circumventing Congress for the second time to send weapons to Israel, approving a nearly $150 million sale of artillery munitions and equipment to the Israeli military. Officials used the same provision to authorize a sale of tank ammunition to Israel just weeks before.

These sales are on top of the billions of dollars of military support and tens of thousands of bombs that the U.S. has sent to Israel over the past decades, as well as access to a normally strictly-guarded U.S. stockpile of weapons in Israel that the Israeli military has reportedly been drawing a significant number of arms from in its current genocide, according to U.S. military officials.

Bombs and artillery are not the only weapons Israeli forces are using against Palestinians — human rights experts have warned that Israel is also using starvation and disease as weapons of war, citing its assault on Gaza’s health system and blockades of food and water.

Progressives have denounced the Biden administration for its continued support of the horror in Gaza, and expressed anger over the latest arms sale.

“The White House cannot have it both ways: calling on the Israeli government to uphold international law while bypassing Congress to send weapons that are leading to violations of international law,” Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) said on social media last week. “How many innocent people must die before [Biden] will demand a ceasefire?”

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