May 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire amid aerial bombardments

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.

Driving the news: Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined panel Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in a bipartisan statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.

  • "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," Young and Murphy added.
"We are encouraged by reports that the parties are exploring a ceasefire. We hope that this ceasefire can be reached quickly and that additional steps can be taken to preserve a two-state future."

Of note: Murphy also added his name to a separate statement with 27 other Democrats, led by Sen. Jon Ossoff (Ga.), saying: "To prevent any further loss of civilian life and to prevent further escalation of conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories, we urge an immediate ceasefire."

The big picture: The lawmakers' calls came after the United Nations Security Council held a meeting to discuss the violence that has killed over 180 Palestinians and 10 Israelis since fighting began last Monday.

  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, told the virtual meeting that the Biden administration had "made clear" to both sides that it would provide assistance "should the parties seek a ceasefire," per Reuters.
Go deeper