Politics

Sen. Young Walks Back Support For Middle East Ceasefire If It ‘Occurs On Hamas’ Terms’

(MICHAEL REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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After calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Monday, Indiana Republican Sen. Todd Young backtracked, instead urging Israel to take out Hamas’ infrastructure.

“Senator Young shares his colleagues’ concerns about a premature ceasefire or one that occurs on Hamas’ terms,” a Young spokesman told Jewish Insider Wednesday. “Hamas’ infrastructure and tunnel network in Gaza is far deeper and more sophisticated than many previously understood … As such, it is clear that Israel needs more time to deal with the threat it is facing.”

“The only way to create an enduring cease-fire is to deal with the threat they are facing and reestablish deterrence by taking out Hamas’ terror infrastructure,” it added.

Young and Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, the top two lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a joint statement Monday urging an immediate ceasefire.

“Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas’ rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing,” they said. “As a result of Hamas’ rocket attacks and Israel’s response, both sides must recognize that too many lives have been lost and must not escalate the conflict further.”

“We are encouraged by reports that the parties are exploring a ceasefire,” they added. “We hope that this ceasefire can be reached quickly and that additional steps can be taken to preserve a two-state future.” (RELATED: Dozens Of Senators Call For Cease Fire Between Israel And Hamas)

The Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by the Hamas movement towards southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip as seen in the sky above the Gaza Strip overnight on May 14, 2021. (Photo by ANAS BABA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts rockets fired by Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2021. (ANAS BABA/AFP via Getty Images)

Just hours after his statement with Murphy, Young released an additional statement with other Senate Republicans that also diverged from his original remarks.

“I continue to stand with Israel, and I’m hopeful that Israel’s actions will neutralize Hamas’ rocket attacks and cease their terrorism of the people of Israel,” he said.

Young reaffirmed his stance on Wednesday, calling on Israel to defend itself against “terrorist rocket attacks emerging from Hamas” during a press conference(RELATED: Netanyahu Rebuffs Biden’s Push For Deescalation, ‘Determined’ To Continue Airstrikes)

“We need to cut off the terrorist financing … which is supplying the very hardware being used to reign down terror and to take the lives of Israelis,” he said.

A spokesperson for Young did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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