Key US lawmaker not optimistic that Israel-Ukraine aid package can pass by the end of year

Key US lawmaker not optimistic that Israel-Ukraine aid package can pass by the end of year
# 27 November 2023 02:18 (UTC +04:00)

There is some skepticism about whether the US Congress can pass a package that includes aid to Israel by the end of 2023, APA reports citing CNN.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Turner told NBC on Sunday that he is not optimistic about the prospects of Congress passing a large national security package that would include funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the US southern border.

“I think it’d be very difficult to get it done by the end of the year. And the impediment currently is the White House policy on the southern border,” he said, noting that the White House needs to accept immigration policy changes, rather than just an increase in funding.

Pressed on whether he would support placing conditions on aid to Israel aimed at lessening civilian casualties in Gaza, Turner said that this is already the policy of the US and Israel.

“I wouldn’t propose it, but I think it does accurately reflect US policy,” he said. “I think the White House has been clear, and I think US policy has been clear, of lessening the Palestinian casualties that are not Hamas.”

On Hamas and hospitals: Turner did say that he believes the US should release some of its intelligence on Hamas and their use of hospitals and other civilian buildings, after Israel has faced sharp criticism for targeting those sites.

“Palestinians are as much prisoners to Hamas in Gaza," he said. "Once Hamas won its election — however rigged it may have been — to take over Gaza, there’s never been another one. They are absolutely being pressed by Hamas itself.”

He added, “I think it is certainly beneficial to tell the story of what Hamas is, what it does.”