United States – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appears before the House Committee of Foreign Affairs. The center witness inside the Congressional hearing Tuesday: U. S Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Sources said the hearing featured bipartisan criticism: the right accusing the Biden administration of abandoning Israel, and the left accusing it of aiding it insufficiently over the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, as reported by Reuters.

Disruptions and Controversy

Angry demonstrators disrupted Blinken as he attempted to present himself in front of the Democrat-regulated Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They shouted that he was a “terrorist” and “murderer,” and Blinken winced at a woman who came at him with a sign that said “criminal” and was promptly removed by some security officers from the hall.

Blinken echoed his President Joe Biden administration’s views on Israel but asserted that it is only aimed at alleviating the suffering of the Gaza population.

“In the Middle East, we’re standing with Israel in its efforts to ensure what happened on October 7th never happens again, as we do everything we can to bring an end to the terrible human suffering in Gaza and prevent the conflict from spreading,” he said.

Blinken was set to testify later Tuesday to the Senate appropriators, the members of a subcommittee that controls the Foreign Operations funding.

Ongoing Congressional Testimony

The Pentagon chief returns to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for two more times at the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearings dominated by Republicans and at the House appropriations subcommittee.

Debates Over U.S. Policy

Republicans rebuked Biden for this statement in which he said this month that he would prevent a shipment of bombs to Israel and maybe even pause others if the Israeli forces proceed with a large-scale attack on Rafah, a densely-populated city in southern Gaza.

The United States continues to pledge large sums of dollars in military aid to Netanyahu’s government, with substantial funds still to be transferred.

Others demanded a response to the ICC prosecutor’s announcement on Monday that sought an arrest warrant for Netanyahu and the defense minister over the alleged war crimes during the Gaza war. The prosecutor, Karim Khan, also requested warrants to arrest three leaders in the Hamas party.

Escalating Protests and Foreign Aid Concerns

Blinken said the Biden administration would be glad to cooperate with Congress to develop a reaction regarding what he qualified as “a profoundly wrong-headed decision” concerning the warrants of the Israeli leaders.

Biden was also criticized by some of his own party members, urging him to do more, including placing preconditions on arms sales, to press Netanyahu’s administration for the protection of the Palestinian civil population. Israel is waging a war to eliminate Hamas, who embarked on an attack on Israel on the 7th of Oct this year that cost the lives of 1200 people, while they also took 253 people hostage as perceived by Israel.

Palestinian estimates indicate that around 35,000 people have been killed by Israel during the campaign in Gaza; of them, many were women and children. The scourge of malnutrition persists, and the majority of the people of the coastal enclave have been rendered shelterless as most parts of the enclave, including its structures, have been flattened.

Protests associated with Israel have been constant during hearings by Biden administration officials at Congress. On Oct. 31, before Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testified on Biden’s request for security aid for Ukraine and Israel, the senators were interrupted by protesters.

Since then, demonstrations concerning the Gaza strip have become more frequent throughout the United States, including on college campuses where people are arrested in dozens, thus causing concerns about how all of this may impact Biden’s campaign for the second term against former US president Donald Trump.

A massive USD 95 billion foreign aid bill funding Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and various humanitarian crises was approved only in April as the original bill got stuck over several months due to Republican’s discontent over the tens of billions of dollars the US has provided to Kyiv to defend itself against the Russians, as reported by Reuters.

Therefore, while only 31 Republicans ran for the House to support the package, the majority of the Democrats did it, and the parties have not reached an agreement on approximately $40 billion more in assistance to Ukraine.