Over a dozen Democratic Representatives have been vocal in their support for Gaza civilians, calling on the administration of President Joe Biden to push for de-escalation in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
On Wednesday, seven progressive members of the House of Representatives urged a temporary cease-fire to deliver aid and provide assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. Israel’s military warned the 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes last week, signalling an impending ground invasion.
“We remain outraged by the horrific terror attacks carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians. We are also deeply alarmed by the rising civilian death toll in both Israel and Gaza, including nearly 1,400 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians,” the Democratic lawmakers said in a statement. “This is a moment that calls for moral and strategic clarity. That is why we believe that the United States must help achieve an immediate ceasefire, or at minimum, a temporary cessation of all hostilities that stops the threats to civilians in Israel and Gaza.”
Devastation in Gaza
Gaza is already one of the world’s most densely populated areas, with more than 2 million people living within 140 square miles. The entire population has been ordered to move into the southern part of the strip – an order the UN has described as “impossible" without "devastating humanitarian consequences."
The statement was signed by Democratic Reps. Joaquin Castro, Greg Casar, Veronica Escobar, Jim McGovern, Barbara Lee, Pramila Jayapal, and Jesús “Chuy” García. It was issued in the wake of Biden's visit to Israel, in which he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following an explosion at a Gaza hospital that killed nearly 500 Palestinian civilians, according to The New York Times.
“Let us be clear: our call for a ceasefire should not be mistaken as a lack of support for the protection of the people of Israel. To the contrary, it is because of our dedication to the safety of both Israelis and Palestinians that we seek a path forward without further escalating the toll of civilian dead and injured,” the group said.
Democratic Rep. Cori Bush also introduced a resolution on Monday that called on the Biden administration to advocate for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, decrying the high number of civilian casualties. It was supported by Rashida Tlaib, André Carson, Summer Lee, Delia Ramirez, Jamaal Bowman, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jonathan Jackson, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Nydia Velázquez, and Garcia.
“They are running out of body bags,” Tlaib said in a press conference Monday. “We all know collective punishment of Palestinians is a war crime. The answer to war crimes can never be more war crimes.”
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