McGovern, Schakowsky, Pocan and Jayapal Lead 55 Members in Letter Condemning Hamas Attacks, Urging Protection of Innocent Civilian Lives

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern (MA-02), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) are today leading 55 of their colleagues in condemning the terrorist attacks by Hamas on the people of Israel, calling for Israeli military operations to follow the rules of international humanitarian law, and continuing to work toward peace in the region.

“We unequivocally condemn Hamas’ shocking and horrifying terrorist attack on Israel. This is the worst perpetration of violence inflicted on the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Our hearts are with those who were tragically killed and their loved ones who mourn their loss,” wrote the Members. “We also continue to hope for the safe return of those who were taken hostage by Hamas, including American citizens, and stand ready to support your Administration in bringing them home.”

This letter comes as more than 1,800 Palestinians in Gaza and more than 1,300 Israelis have died. Reporting also suggests that more than 423,000 people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip.

“We strongly believe that Israel’s response must take into account the millions of innocent civilians in Gaza who themselves are victims of Hamas and are suffering the consequences of their terror campaign,” continued the Members. “However this current conflict plays out, we feel strongly that the US government and the global community must continue the tough work to achieve lasting peace in the region. The future and safety of Israelis and Palestinians are intertwined. We cannot achieve lasting peace and security for Israelis without addressing the humanitarian crises in Gaza and the West Bank.”

Specifically, the Members are calling on the Administration to take the following priorities into account: 

  1. Communicate that Israel’s response in Gaza must be carried out according to international law and take all due measures to limit harm to innocent civilians;
  2. Work to quickly restore the delivery of food, water, fuel, electricity, and other life-saving necessities to Gaza to ensure that innocent civilians have the basics needed for survival;
  3. Collaborate with regional partners to establish a humanitarian corridor to enable the delivery of such life-saving necessities and to allow Palestinian civilians and foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, to seek safe haven outside of Gaza; 
  4. Publicly discourage any hate crimes and backlash against any American—including Jews and Muslims—including by communicating to the American people that Hamas is not the Palestinian people and the Palestinian people are not Hamas; and
  5. Ensure that supplemental funding requests to Congress include humanitarian assistance for both Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis.

The letter is signed by: Becca Balint (VT-AL), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16), André Carson (IN-07), Greg Casar (TX-35), Sean Casten (IL-06), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Mark DeSaulnier CA-10), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Anna Eshoo (CA-16), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Bill Foster (IL-11), Maxwell Frost (FL-10), Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-08), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Summer Lee (PA-12), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Mark Takano (CA-39), Jill Tokuda(HI-02), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Nikema Williams (GA-05).

The text of the letter can be read here.