Democratic senators call for Israel to open its border for humanitarian crossing into Gaza

A group of Democratic senators urged President Biden on Monday to work with Israel in an effort to convince the country to open its border for humanitarian aid to cross into the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.

In a letter sent to Biden, the lawmakers asked the administration to work with Israel and its allied partners to implement a plan that will protect civilian life and deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to the war-torn Gaza.

The senators also asked for the Kerem Shalom border, a border crossing between Israel and Gaza, to be reopened “in order to facilitate the proper inspection and delivery of larger quantities of aid and the reopening of this crossing must become part of the humanitarian support plan.”

The letter also asks for “access to prompt medical attention for sick and wounded civilians, both within Gaza as well as the option to evacuate to a neighboring country.”

The letter was co-led by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

The letter was signed by ten other senators, including Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

“Lastly, there must be hope for the future. We worry the current trajectory of the conflict moves us further away from our shared goals of ending Hamas’s threat and removing them from power in Gaza, bringing hostages home, and achieving a sustainable peace in the region through a two state solution,” the senators wrote in their letter.

“This conflict will not be solved by force alone. Preservation of and respect for innocent life is both morally right and the best hope for a long-term strategy to accomplish security, stability, and peace in the region,” the letter concludes.

The letter comes as lawmakers in the recent weeks have called for a cease-fire solution in the Hamas-Israel war, but with some stipulating that a cease-fire should happen if the militant group Hamas releases all hostages currently detained.

It’s been a month since Hamas’s surprise attack against Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people and the taking of around 240 hostages.

In response, Israel has launched a series of airstrikes and a ground invasion in Gaza, resulting in the death of at least 13,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

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