May 12, 2021

Van Hollen Statement on Escalating Violence in Israel and Gaza

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza:

“I am deeply concerned about the violence that has engulfed the Israeli and Palestinian people in recent days and the tragic loss of innocent life. This week, escalating tensions in Jerusalem erupted into a full-scale conflict.

“I endorse Secretary of State Blinken’s call for the immediate de-escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas to protect the lives of innocent civilians. Israel is fully within its rights to take measures to defend itself against the rocket assault launched by Hamas terrorists. The latest attacks also underscore the importance of the Iron Dome defense system. 

“Hamas’s actions only serve to undermine the pursuit of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people. Both Israelis and Palestinians have a right to live in security, a right to self-determination, and a right to have their human rights protected.

“Sadly, we have seen this violent cycle too many times before, and we know it does not resolve the grievances of any side. It only leaves death and destruction in its wake. No parent wants to raise a child in a generation under fire that believes peace is not possible, views a neighbor as an enemy or a threat, or feels their basic humanity is in question. We must all be focused on actions that show the way out of this darkness.

“The United States and its allies need to work with the parties to end the immediate violence and help create a path toward a future where both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and dignity. I have spoken with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and others in the Biden Administration about the importance of working to advance these goals.”