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Five Senators: The U.S. should immediately mobilize ‘Operation Gaza Relief’

Feb 16, 2024

Democrats Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Peter Welch (Vt.) are U.S. senators.

The United States must act immediately to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Israel has every right to pursue those who carried out Hamas’s horrific terrorist assault on Oct. 7. But the war strategy chosen by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has had a massive and unacceptable impact on Palestinian civilians. Israel’s campaign of bombing and shelling has killed an estimated 28,000 Palestinians, according to the health ministry in Gaza, more than 70 percent of them women and children. Many more are seriously injured. Acute shortages of medicine, food, water and shelter, combined with power and communication blackouts, have created a cascading disaster.

For months, the Biden administration has made urgent and repeated requests to the Netanyahu government to pursue a more targeted campaign against Hamas and to dramatically increase the facilitation of humanitarian aid delivered through the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossing points. Israel has largely disregarded these appeals. In addition, the Netanyahu government is considering a military campaign in Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced Palestinians are living, which would make the humanitarian crisis even worse.

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Story Written by Senators Jeff Merkley, Dick Durbin, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen and Peter Welch