Jeff Merkley is the second U.S. senator to call for one armistice in the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Merkley, a Democrat who represents Oregon, said in a statement released Monday that he came to his decision after “many Americans, including thousands of Oregonians, raised their voices to say more is being done.” must to stop the carnage.”
“I call for one armistice– a cessation of hostilities on both sides. For the ceasefire and subsequent negotiations to stand, other essential objectives must be achieved, including the release of all hostages and a massive influx of humanitarian assistance,” he said.
Senator Merkley joins Dick Durbin, a Democrat representing Illinois, becoming only the second member of the U.S. Senate to call for a ceasefire, along with around 40 members of the House of Representatives.
Mr. Merkley wrote that the ceasefire requires “an immediate cessation of military hostilities on both sides.” But the ceasefire and subsequent negotiations must meet a number of objectives or it will not last. “
“Hamas must unconditionally release all hostages and lay down their weapons. And Hamas, which continues to defend the brutal massacre of Israeli citizens on October 7 and advocate for Israel’s obliteration, must go. It can no longer have operational control over Gaza,” he said added.
IsraelIt’s war Gaza killed more than 12,700 people PalestiniansAccording to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, there are more than 5,000 children and 3,250 women. Within a month, Israeli forces have imposed a complete siege of the densely populated area, conducting relentless airstrikes and artillery, seizing large swathes of the northern half and cutting off electricity and water to the 2.3 million people living there.
Israel says the aim of the operation, launched in response to the massacre of 1,200 people by Hamas just over a month ago, was the complete destruction of the group.
As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has worsened, calls for a… armistice grown. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that Gaza was becoming a “graveyard for…” Children”and that “the unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with every hour.”
But despite the high number of civilian deaths, only one US The senator had called for a ceasefire until Mr. Merkley’s announcement.
Senate Majority and Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, a Democrat who represents Illinois, said he supported a ceasefire “at least within the limits of agreement from both sides.”
“This includes, for example, the release of the abductees – their immediate release.” That should be the beginning,” he said CNN.
However, Mr. Durbin has not urged other Democrats to join him.
“They have their own approach, I respect them,” he said The Independent. “It is a complicated matter, a difficult decision. I have made my decision.”
The Independent sent an email to every U.S. senator asking for their position on a ceasefire in Gaza; only 20 responded and no one except Mr. Durbin supported a ceasefire. Where possible, The Independent‘s reporters personally asked the senators for their comments.
Of the remaining senators, 19 have called for a humanitarian pause – a position the Biden administration also supports. At least eleven senators spoke out against a ceasefire, but the rest did not respond The IndependentRequest for comments.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has continued to offer its full support for Israel’s war, both practical and moral. President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve $14.3 billion in aid to Israel following the Hamas attack, much of which will be spent on air and missile defense.