Rep. Escobar and 56 Lawmakers Call for Ceasefire in Gaza

Rep. Escobar and 56 Lawmakers Call for Ceasefire in Gaza

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
November 7, 2023

Texas Representative Veronica Escobar (D) and 56 lawmakers joined together in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

"While I have called for a cease-fire, the letter I lead today with @SenatorHeinrich to @SecBlinken represents a diverse group of people who have varying perspectives, but can agree on the standards and issues outlined in the letter."

"In the letter, I’m joined by 56 of my colleagues urging @SecBlinken to protect innocent lives, regional stability, and American national security interests as he meets with Israeli officials in his visit to the region."

In the letter, the lawmakers stated their agreement with the President’s call for “a short-term cessation of hostilities”, or ceasefire, so that “humanitarian aid”, presumably food, water, and other necessities, could reach over 1.4 million Gazans as well as some Israelis and Americans.

After Hamas brutally attacked Israel on Oct. 7, Israel removed their supply of water, fuel, electricity and other services from the region. The Hamas attack was deadly, killing thousands, with at least 200 being taken hostage. However, the lawmakers are asking Sec. Blinken to “press Israeli officials to work with Egyptian partners” to get aid to Gazan civilians.

“As democracies, we must continue to hold ourselves and our closest allies to the highest standards of conduct, even at times of great tragedy and violence,” reads the letter.

The letter states that the U.S. representatives agree with Israel’s right to defend themselves but also highlights the deaths of Palestinians. Furthermore, it expresses “concern” that the deaths of Palestinian civilians, including children, violate “international humanitarian law.” That said, the statement claims that abiding by the international humanitarian laws could “preserve global support for Israel's response to Hamas’ attack.”

According to the Biden Administration and Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din, there has been “settler violence” against Palestinians in the West Bank. The letter concludes with a warning about how Hamas capitalizes on violence in the West Bank.

“Continued settler violence in the West Bank, including the eviction of Palestinians from their homes and destruction of their property, could expand the war to additional fronts, greatly exacerbating regional instability and endangering Israel’s and the U.S.’ national security. Furthermore, we remain gravely concerned that continued harassment, violence, and evictions of Palestinians in the West Bank may aid Hamas in their ongoing recruitment efforts. Reports that followed Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel in May of 2021 clearly illustrate their recruitment strategy as one that takes advantage of the personal grievances and frustrations of Palestinians being evicted from their homes.”

The representatives then called for the highly controversial two-state solution.

Recently, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to involve itself in the war further. Furthermore, Nasrallah stated that the Lebanese militia was actively fighting Israeli troops at the Israel-Lebanon border.

Hezbollah is a Shia Islamist political party and militant group and is one of Israel's opposing military forces. The militia has spent the last few weeks firing rockets at Israel, hitting Israeli military targets and--according to the Israeli military--killing seven soldiers and one civilian.

“Some say I’m going to announce that we have entered the battle,” said Nasrallah. “We already entered the battle on Oct. 8.”

Nasrallah has made public statements praising the Hamas invasion that killed 1,400 people, and Hamas has made repeated requests for Hezbollah to fully involve itself in the war.

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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