The BDS movement aims, among others, to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories [File: Sainatee Suarez/Al Jazeera]

The US Senate has advanced legislation addressing security policy in the Middle East, including new sanctions on Syria and a measure taking aim at boycotts of Israel. 

Democrats had blocked the package in the Senate during the 35-day partial government shutdown, saying the chamber should first consider legislation to reopen the government.

But

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