Senators Warren, Sanders, Welch, Merkley Raise Concern Amid Invasion and Potential Occupation of Gaza
“The United States must take a leading role in charting out a future that respects the lives of Palestinians and Israelis alike.”
Washington, D.C. — United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) sent a letter to President Biden expressing serious concern about what the invasion and potential occupation of Gaza could mean, both in terms of the long-term security of Israel and the well-being of the Palestinian residents of the territory.
“Israel suffered a barbaric attack and is well within its rights to defend itself in keeping with international law, including the protection of civilians,” wrote the lawmakers. “We have serious concerns about what this invasion and potential occupation of Gaza will mean, both in terms of the long-term security of Israel and the well-being of the Palestinian residents of Gaza.”
Following Hamas’s surprise attack last month, Israel has mobilized 360,000 reservists and massed troops at the border between Israel and Gaza, leading to speculation that Israel will soon launch a ground offensive. In the letter, the lawmakers highlight their support for humanitarian pauses to help free the hostages and provide humanitarian aid.
“We note recent reports that senior U.S. officials – including Secretary of Defense Austin – have conveyed to the Israeli government their serious concerns about the risks associated with this course,” wrote the lawmakers. “We share many of these concerns, not just relating to the timing and difficulty of such an operation and its likely humanitarian toll, but also regarding the difficult questions about the political reality it will leave in its wake.”
As Congress considers the administration’s emergency funding request, the senators raised questions that address humanitarian aid, the logistics around a ground invasion, and the responsibilities countries will have to assume in the wake of a successful invasion.
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