update deskIsrael at War

Hamas rockets must stop before two-state solution, 13 Dems in Congress say

“After that occurs, we can turn our focus forward to … the creation of a long sought-after two-state solution,” Reps. Nadler, Goldman, Raskin and others wrote.

Iron Dome aerial interceptions of Hamas rockets in southern Israel. Credit: Oren Ravid/Shutterstock.
Iron Dome aerial interceptions of Hamas rockets in southern Israel. Credit: Oren Ravid/Shutterstock.

U.S. President Joe Biden and officials at the White House, U.S. State Department and other departments in the administration have repeatedly stated that Hamas must release all of the hostages it holds in Gaza as the officials have called for a temporary ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

In a Feb. 22 letter to Biden, Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and 10 other Jewish members of Congress went one step further. Hamas rocket fire must stop before there is a focus on a two-state solution, wrote the 13 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

They encouraged the president to “redouble your efforts at this critical juncture to facilitate a mutual, temporary ceasefire agreement that will: return all of the hostages to their families; stop the violence in Gaza and rocket fire on Israel from Gaza; and end the tremendous civilian suffering in Gaza by enabling a massive surge in humanitarian aid.”

“After that occurs,” the 13 Democratic members of Congress wrote, “we can turn our focus forward to working with you and our allies to promote enduring peace in the Middle East through the neutralization of Hamas and the creation of a long sought-after two-state solution.”

There have been more than 11,000 rockets fired on Israel since Oct. 7, according to the Institute for National Security Studies, which is affiliated with Tel Aviv University.

In addition to Nadler, Goldman and Raskin, the Jewish Democrat signatories were Reps. Becca Balint (Vt.), Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Greg Landsman (Ohio), Seth Magaziner (R.I.), Dean Phillips (Minn.), Kim Schrier (Wash.), Brad Sherman (Calif.), Elissa Slotkin (Mich.) and Susan Wild (Pa.).

“We cannot overstate the urgency of the hostages’ situation in Hamas’s captivity in Gaza, where they have been held for 139 days in dreadful conditions,” the legislators wrote. “Recently, we learned that 32 of the 134 remaining hostages are dead. Every day that the remaining living hostages are left to suffer in the tunnels in Gaza without medical attention increases the chances that more will die. The hostages and their families simply cannot wait any longer.”

“Likewise, the situation for the civilian population in Gaza is dire and desperate,” they added. “At least 1.4 million displaced Palestinians in Gaza cannot wait any longer for access to additional humanitarian aid to alleviate widespread hunger, homelessness and the continuing spread of dangerous diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, bronchitis and pneumonia.”

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