Warren, Markey Call for “Full, Rapid, Safe, and Unhindered Humanitarian Assistance” in Gaza, “Unconditional Release” of Hostages
“We urge you to continue your efforts to press the Israeli government to meet these obligations under international law.”
Washington, D.C. — United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging the Biden administration to take additional steps to bring Americans and Hamas-held hostages home, as well as providing necessary relief to the millions of innocent Palestinians trapped in Gaza. The lawmakers reiterated concerns raised in a letter they previously sent about Americans who remain in Israel and Gaza.
“Last week we joined eight of our colleagues in calling for humanitarian pauses to allow full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian assistance to those in need in Gaza,” wrote Senators Warren and Markey. “We urge you to continue to work through our partners to provide safe passage for Americans trying to leave Gaza, including a family from Plymouth, Massachusetts with three small children whose father ‘had been waiting in line for bread to feed his family every day until the bombs started narrowing in on his shelter.’”
Earlier this month, Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel, and Israel’s subsequent declaration of war, has left millions of innocent Palestinians at risk of famine, with little to no access to food, water, fuel, and medicine. While the Israeli government pledged to President Biden that it would allow aid to enter Gaza, reports have indicated that aid that has been moved into Gaza has faced distribution challenges and may not have reached the hospitals and other destinations where it is badly needed.
“The fact remains that civilians in Gaza, including our constituents, desperately need more humanitarian aid more quickly as this conflict enters its fourth week,” wrote Senators Warren and Markey.
In the letter, the lawmakers urged National Security Advisor Sullivan and Secretary Blinken to continue to do everything in their power to provide relief to civilians and support the administration’s call for civilian pauses. While encouraged by reports of a breakthrough to allow some civilians through the Rafah crossing, the lawmakers also requested that the State Department provide a briefing on its ongoing efforts to supply aid, progress on helping Americans exit Gaza, and the safe exit of hostages and reunification with their families.
Senator Warren remains committed to establishing lasting peace in Gaza and protecting innocent civilians, including:
- On November 2, Senator Warren and Senator Kaine led 13 of their Senate colleagues in calling for a short-term cessation of hostilities.
- On November 1, Senators Warren, Sanders, Welch, and Merkley sent a letter to President Biden expressing serious concerns about what the invasion and potential occupation of Gaza would mean for the well-being of Palestinian residents and the long-term security of Israel.
- On October 27, Senator Warren released a statement with 9 of her Senate colleagues calling for humanitarian pauses and hostage releases
- On October 19, 2023, Senators Warren and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, led 32 of their Senate colleagues in urging the Biden administration to lead the international community in contributing to the United Nations’ emergency appeal of $294 million to address the immediate humanitarian needs in the West Bank and Gaza.
- On October 18, 2023, Senators Warren, Markey, and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan urging them to do everything possible to provide assistance to U.S. citizens fleeing the Gaza Strip, including constituents from New England.
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