WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement on the situation in Israel and Gaza.
“I am deeply concerned about the situation in Israel and Gaza. I condemn those using violence to achieve political goals. My heart aches for the civilians who have been hurt or killed during this conflict.
“There is never a legitimate rationale for firing rockets indiscriminately at civilian population centers. That is terrorism and we must condemn it. Hamas’ actions have resulted in the innocent loss of both Palestinian and Israeli lives, and it must immediately cease all rocket fire and calls for violence against civilians. I support Israel’s right to defend its people from these attacks but urge Israel to take all possible measures to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza.
“This complicated situation requires diplomacy, not escalating violence. The events in recent weeks that increased tensions in Jerusalem – tensions that Hamas capitalized on to bolster their political status at the expense of civilian life – should be handled through diplomatic channels. The question of who can reside on land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood purchased by Jewish trusts in 1876 from Arab landowners, and later granted by Jordan to Palestinian refugees via UNRWA in 1956, is a complicated and emotionally charged legal dispute that will not be resolved by violence. Similarly, the question of whether the police erred in judgment in handling unrest in and around Jerusalem’s holy sites cannot be resolved by violence. The U.S. is no stranger to legal disputes and police missteps, and we can work with our ally Israel to handle these issues as only democracies can.
“We need to de-escalate the situation and start the process for a ceasefire. Stability must be restored as we resume our efforts to achieve a lasting peace.”
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