The move comes days after the White House committed to not give weapons to states that block American humanitarian aid.

by Connor Echols, Responsible Statecraft

Israel’s finance minister has blocked a major U.S. shipment of humanitarian aid meant to feed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to Axios, setting up a faceoff with the Biden administration, which has come under increasing pressure from Democrats in Congress to increase the flow of aid into the besieged territory.

The news comes just days after President Joe Biden issued a memorandum in which he committed to enforce a little-used provision of U.S. law that bans Washington from giving security assistance to states that block U.S. humanitarian aid. The memorandum drew heavily on a proposal from Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) that called for the implementation of U.S. law restricting military aid for human rights violators.

President Joe Biden visit to Israel March 2016 Meet with PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Biden now finds himself in a bind: He can ignore the memo and anger his allies in the Senate; cut off military aid to Israel; or issue a waiver that would allow shipments to continue while conceding that Israeli actions are contrary to U.S. law.

“The most likely possibility is that the president says, ‘Yes, there’s been a restriction, but because of the importance of supporting Israel, we’re going to waive,’” said John Ramming Chappell, an advocacy and legal fellow at the Center for Civilians in Conflict. A waiver, Ramming Chappell argues, “would require being honest about the fact that the Israeli government is restricting the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

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