This Maryland senator says a law could allow Biden to push for more aid in Gaza

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen suggests President Biden should apply the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act to pressure Israel to allow more aid to reach Gaza.

In the spotlight: Senator Van Hollen, following his visit to the Rafah border crossing, expressed concern over Israel blocking vital supplies, causing severe starvation in Gaza.
* Van Hollen believes that by invoking the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, the Biden administration can put pressure on Israel to let more aid through.

Key Law Details: The Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act aims to prevent countries from receiving U.S. military assistance should they obstruct U.S. aid delivery.
* It is relevent to the crisis in Gaza where starvation is rampant, with 4 out of the 5 hungriest people in the world being in Gaza.

Application and Precedent: The law could potentially halt U.S military aid to Israel whilst the blockade continues, though defensive weapons systems are exempted.
* The Clinton administration previously used the act to influence Turkey’s blockade on aid to Armenia.

Barriers to the Aid Flow: Senator Van Hollen recounted seeing trucks of rejected aid supplies, such as maternity kits and water purification systems, at the border crossing.
* These rejections highlight the tension between security and humanitarian needs: Israel argues some items could have military use for Hamas.

The Question of Implementation: Regarding why the Biden administration hasn’t invoked the law, answers from a State Department delegation appeared insufficient to Van Hollen.
* A shift from rhetoric to action is needed. Vice President Kamala Harris has recently urged Israel to increase aid flow, a move Van Hollen hopes will be backed by executive action.
View original article on NPR
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