Brief

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore calls for ceasefire in Gaza

By: - January 8, 2024 5:30 am

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (Official portrait)

Congresswoman Gwen Moore has issued a statement calling on the Biden administration to “prioritize moving towards a humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza. Moore also called for the return of all hostages, the delivery of humanitarian aid and the creation of a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine that includes removing Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza and that is committed to the destruction of Israel, from power.

Pressure has grown on President Joe Biden to condemn Israel’s assault on the Palestinian territory of Gaza, following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, used rape and mutilation as weapons of war on civilians, and took hundreds of hostages.

A soldier looks at a tank near the border with the Gaza Strip on Nov. 28, 2023 in Southern Border, Israel. Israel and Hamas agreed to a two-day extension to their initial four-day truce, which promised the release of more Israeli hostages held in Gaza, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)
SOTHERN BORDER, ISRAEL – NOVEMBER 29: A soldier looks at a tank near the border with the Gaza strip on November 28, 2023 in Southern Border, Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

In response, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) launched a siege and bombing campaign of the Gaza Strip, where about 2 million Palestinian people reside. Since those retaliatory attacks, over 22,000 Palestinians have been killed at the time of this writing, the majority of whom are civilians, including 9,600 children According to Euro-Med Monitor, an organization that monitors  human rights, as of Jan 4. nearly 2 million people have been displaced. Using daily infographics the organization tracks numerous figures from the conflict, which it describes as a “genocide in the Gaza Strip.” Some of those numbers include:

• Nearly 68,000 homes completely destroyed

• Over 58,000 people injured

• 1,612 industrial facilities damaged or destroyed

• Over 169 press headquarters damaged or destroyed

• 105 journalists killed

• 198 heritage sites damaged or destroyed

• 524 health care workers injured or killed

Globally, criticism has mounted on the IDF’s conduct during the ongoing conflict. Attacks on journalists covering the conflict have spurred protests in Wisconsin. In late November, a coalition of groups including the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, the Zao Church, Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine, Mke4Palestine, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, held a joint protest and rally outside the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to commemorate the deaths of journalists and condemn the Sentinel’s coverage of the war in Gaza.

Calls for a ceasefire have increased within Congress and Biden’s public statements about the war have shifted from unequivocal support for Israel to warnings that Israel is losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza.

“While Hamas is clearly to blame for the war, the Biden administration needs to prioritize moving toward a humanitarian ceasefire, the safe return of all the remaining hostages, the secure delivery of humanitarian aid, and the establishment of a path for removing Hamas from power and the creation of a two-state solution,” Rep. Moore said in her Jan. 5  statement. “Israel has the unequivocal right to defend itself, but I believe [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government has increasingly conflated the conflict between Israel and Hamas with a conflict between Israel and the civilian population of Gaza and Palestinians, leading to the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians, including thousands of children. This has not brought us closer to the release of hostages or eliminating the threat that Hamas poses.”

Milwaukee residents gather to stand in solidarity with Palestinian residents, as the Israeli government conducts an assault on Gaza. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)
Milwaukee residents gather to stand in solidarity with Palestinian residents, as the Israeli government conducts an assault on Gaza in 2021. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Moore said that she didn’t “want to rehash the decades of policies and unilateral actions by Netanyahu-led governments, and others, that have helped us get to this point. Nor do I want us to repeat the same mistakes. Too many lives, Israeli and Palestinian, are in the balance.”

Moore added that security and peace in the region depend on both Hamas and Israel adhering to international laws of war. “Lasting peace will not be achieved through bombing campaigns or expanding settlements,” said Moore. “Israel is entering the third month of military actions in Gaza and the hostages have not been returned, the threat of Hamas has not been materially degraded, nor has there been movement towards a permanent political solution, despite over 1,200 Israelis dead, 20,000 Palestinians dead, and up to 80 percent of the population of Gaza displaced and facing starvation, disease, and exposure. Israel and the United States are unbreakable allies, so the time has come for both countries to heed the urgent call of the recent United Nations Security Council resolution to work toward de-escalation of hostilities and the restoration of a working truce, so that the long work of peace may resume.”

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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets.

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