Press Release

Senator Welch joins Schatz and Van Hollen in Issuing Statement Condemning Hamas’ Violence in Israel and Calling for Humanitarian Aid for the Two Million Civilians Trapped in Gaza

Oct 16, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT), joined Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in issuing the following joint statement:

“We are appalled by the unfathomable violence against Israeli civilians and unequivocally condemn Hamas and its brutal actions. We mourn for those who were ruthlessly murdered and injured, as well as for their loved ones and communities who are living through a nightmare. We must do everything possible to rescue the hostages who remain in the hands of Hamas terrorists.

“There is no justification for these cruel acts, and our support for Israel as a home for the Jewish people is steadfast. We stand with the President and our allies in our commitment to support Israel as it defends itself, in accordance with international law. That includes protections for the two million civilians currently trapped in Gaza, who must have realistic options for avoiding military operations. Every effort must be made to prevent further civilian death and suffering and allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need. A just war cannot be won without the strictest adherence to civilian protection, as difficult as that is with a terrorist adversary that does not share those standards.

“We welcome the Biden administration’s naming of a special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues, as immense work remains ahead. We all must remain united in our commitment to human rights, and to a just and lasting peace in the region.

“Also, in a time of increased anti-Semitic, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic rhetoric and violence here at home and around the world, we must be vigilant, reject hate, and stand with the communities being threatened.”