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Pascrell Statement on the Middle East Crisis

Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) this evening voted in favor of House Resolution 771 and issued the followed statement on the tragic continuing violence in Israel and Palestine.

“I welcome the Biden administration’s progress to secure the release of additional hostages held by Hamas and to simultaneously get civilians in Gaza needed humanitarian assistance. All remaining hostages taken by Hamas must be released without further harm. We need to secure safe passage for U.S. citizens and other civilians in Gaza. And we must have uninterrupted food, water, and medicine aid into Gaza. I personally pushed President Biden last week to meet these goals and focus on the safety of civilians.

“The violence in the region is devastating. Our neighbors are in anguish and my heart is broken for all of those who have lost loved ones. Every single innocent life lost is a tragedy. Hamas committed heinous, unprovoked acts of murder against civilians. Hamas killed Americans and are holding some Americans hostage. Palestinian civilians who are not members of Hamas or are part of Hamas’s sinister machinery have tragically been caught in the terrorist organization’s fiendish violence. The bloodshed did not start with Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7. And despite our prayers and best efforts, it will not end tomorrow. But I know this violence cannot be solved by military means alone. That is why I am glad President Biden is working with our partners in the region to prevent greater escalation. This is essential to building a lasting foundation where Israelis and Palestinians can achieve equal measures of freedom, security, opportunity, and dignity.

“I support the administration’s supplemental appropriations request to Congress because it recognizes that Israel’s security and right to defend itself from terror is not incompatible with a commitment to the humanitarian needs in Gaza. This request builds on the support already provided for Isarel’s defense and the President’s recent $100 million pledge for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people. I am committed to fighting for this needed security assistance for Israel and to provide over $9 billion in life-saving humanitarian aid to address the cascading regional and global impacts to civilians and refugees.

“I will always uplift the voices of my constituents who demand America uphold values that are grounded in respect for human rights and international law. Enduring peace in the region can be achieved by direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, where a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state co-exist in peace if there is collective, good faith efforts by those involved. Until this lasting peace can be achieved, restraint to protect innocent civilian lives of Palestinian and Israelis is the most prudent path forward to hasten an end to an already terrible conflict.”

On October 7, Congressman Pascrell released a statement on Hamas’ attacks in Israel. On October 20, Congressman Pascrell encouraged the President to secure the return of hostages held by Hamas, urges more humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza, safe passage for Palestinians, and prevent further loss of innocent lives. On May 15, 2021 Congressman Pascrell condemned the continuing firing of deadly rockets into Israel by the terror group Hamas and the growing regional violence. In a statement on May 10, 2021, Rep. Pascrell called for an end to hostilities.

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