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WASHINGTON, May 18, 2021 —U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement about the ongoing violent crisis:

This crisis—and the senseless deaths of Palestinians and Israelis alike—shows no signs of abating. Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed to continue bombing Gaza, and Hamas continues firing rockets at Israeli towns. We need an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The U.S. must now go beyond simply voicing support for a ceasefire and urgently work to secure one.

In light of disproportionate Israeli bombings that have destroyed the Associated Press offices, targeted a refugee camp, and damaged a Doctors Without Borders clinic, I am deeply concerned by the message sent by a pending $735 billion U.S. weapons sale to Israel. Its timing and significance threaten to undermine U.S. diplomacy to secure an immediate end to this violence.

Congress and the Biden Administration should consider delaying this arms sale to carefully review whether transferring these precision-guided missiles at this moment is consistent with protecting human rights, achieving an immediate ceasefire, and is in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act, which only allows such weapons transfers for legitimate defense and prohibits their use to escalate conflict. Finally, as part of the overall process to bring about a peaceful settlement, the U.S. must recommit to using the many tools at its disposal to address the root causes of this recent violence and help bring about a two-state solution.