More than 100 congressional staffers walked off the job on Capital Hill in an effort to urge the lawmakers they work for to support a ceasefire in Gaza.
The staffers held a vigil for both the 1,400 Israelis who were killed in Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, as well as the more than 10,000 Palestinians who have been killed in Israel's retaliatory airstrikes and siege of the Gaza Strip, nearly half of whom were children.
The coalition of staffers, Congressional Staff For A Ceasefire, wrote in a statement that they "mourn the loss of every single beautiful and innocent life."
"We were horrified by the brutal October 7th attacks on Israeli civilians, and we are horrified by the overwhelming response by the Israeli government that has killed thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Our constituents are pleading for a ceasefire, and we are the staffers answering their calls," they wrote. "Most of our bosses on Capitol Hill are not listening to the people they represent. We demand our leaders speak up: call for a ceasefire, a release of all hostages, and an immediate de-escalation now."
Calls for ceasefire
According to a recent poll from Data for Progress, 66 percent of Americans support a ceasefire across party lines in order to prevent civilian deaths in Gaza. Despite this, the White House has not yet used the term, instead calling for "humanitarian pauses."
A few progressive members of Congress have been vocal in calling for a ceasefire, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of Congress. The House of Representatives voted to censure her on Tuesday for using a pro-Palestinian slogan in a video criticizing President Joe Biden's "unconditional" support of Israel despite their violations of international law.
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