Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Vermont's U.S. Congress members criticize Israeli leadership over lack of aid in Gaza

A man in a suit gestures toward another person
Jose Luis Magana
Associated Press
Sen. Bernie Sanders, seen in Washington on Thursday, June 8, 2023, has vowed to withhold his vote for additional aid for Israel as long as "Palestinian civilians in Gaza are the target of indiscriminate bombing."

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation this week strongly criticized the Israeli government for not allowing enough humanitarian aid into war-torn Gaza.

For several months, Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to withhold his vote for additional aid for Israel as long as "Palestinian civilians in Gaza are the target of indiscriminate bombing."

The conflict has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians since it broke out, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday night, Sanders renewed his pledge to block aid and blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government for the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

"People have been reduced to eating leaves and animal feed. They are starving to death. It is happening because Israel is not letting in enough humanitarian aid, and it's actually that simple," Sanders said.

More from Vermont Public: Senate blocks Sanders' attempt to investigate Israel use of U.S. military aid in Gaza

Sen. Peter Welch told his colleagues on Tuesday night that the Israeli government should face financial consequences if it doesn't immediately allow massive humanitarian aid into Gaza.

"We are air dropping food to famine-stricken Gaza today and supplying bombs for Israel to drop on devastated Gaza tomorrow," Welch said. "There's no legal or security justification for restricting humanitarian aid to civilians who are caught in the middle of an armed conflict."

More from Vermont Public: How Vermont's Congressional delegation has shifted its views on U.S. aid to Israel

Meanwhile, Rep. Becca Balint recently returned from a Congressional visit to Israel.

She said she was shocked by what she saw and that it's critical for the Biden administration to send a strong message to the Israeli government.

"The Netanyahu government is not doing what it needs to do to ensure that humanitarian aid is getting through. There's incredible suffering happening in Gaza right now, and we want you to take this seriously and if you don't then there will be ramifications," Balint said.

The Israeli government says it is not limiting the delivery of aid to Gaza, and has blamed the United Nations for failing to distribute it to those in need and for diverting aid to Hamas forces in the region.

NPR reports President Biden on Thursday will announce an emergency mission to build a new pier off the coast of Gaza to receive large shipments of food, water, medicine and temporary shelters.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
Latest Stories