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Database Launch on Tax Day Highlights US Arms to Israel

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While members of Congress and the Obama administration wrestle over painful budget cuts, military aid to Israel is about the only expenditure safe from the chopping block. American weapons transfers to Israel are scheduled to total $30 billion from 2009-2018, an annual average increase of 25% over previous levels. In line with a 2007 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, President Obama asked for a record $3.075 billion worth of weaponry for Israel in his 2012 budget request.

To highlight the extent of this support, and its often tragic human consequences for Palestinians and others, including Americans, a new online database documenting in detail American military aid to Israel over the past decade will be launched this Friday to coincide with tax day. The database is a project of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of 350 organizations working to change U.S. policy towards Israel and the Palestinians to one based on human rights and international law.

Amer Shurrab is a Palestinian, from the town of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, currently living in the United States. In January 2009, Amer’s brothers Ibrahim and Kassab were killed by Israeli soldiers while attempting to flee to safety during Israel's bloody military assault known as Operation Cast Lead. 
Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. He's a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service and has appeared on NBC, ABC, CSPAN, The Hill, Al Jazeera, USA Today, LA Times, Huffington Post, and more.