Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group controlling Gaza, in a Tuesday statement after continued airstrikes.
Pelosi joined dozens of lawmakers in calling for the cease-fire, saying both Republicans and Democrats need to work together to end the violence and fight for peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people. Pelosi said Israel has “a right to defend” itself after Hamas began launching rockets at them.
“Israel is our friend and ally in the Middle East with whom we have shared values. It is in the U.S. national security interest to support security in Israel. Hamas exploited a volatile situation to initiate hostilities against Israel, launching more than 3,000 rockets, and as always, Israel has a right to defend herself. Now, after more than a week of hostilities, it has become even more apparent that a ceasefire is necessary,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“There must be a serious effort on the part of both parties to end the violence and respect the rights of both the Israeli and Palestinian people. It is with respect for Israeli and Palestinian lives that leaders must strive for peace through a negotiated two-state solution,” Pelosi added.
President Joe Biden has also said that Israel has the right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas. The comments have upset Democrats such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has called Israel an “apartheid state.” RELATED: The Israel-Palestinian Conflict Is Dividing Democrats)
Democratic Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff wrote a letter to Biden with 28 co-signers, including Majority Whip Dick Durbin, also calling for a ceasefire. (RELATED: Dozens Of Senators Call For Cease Fire Between Israel And Hamas)
The airstrikes have killed at least 212 people, including at least 61 children, local health authorities told The New York Times.