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May 12, 2021

“Over the past week, my team and I have been monitoring the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and I am heartbroken by the escalating tensions and growing violence. I am deeply committed to the strong relationship between Israel and the United States, and believe we must pursue a permanent, diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis that addresses the underlying, decades-long conflict. I urge both parties to take steps that move both sides closer to a permanent two-state resolution that preserves the self-determination and dignity of both peoples.

“I strongly condemn the rocket attacks launched by Hamas against Israeli cities, and my heart goes out to those under fire. Such attacks only deepen the ongoing suffering of both Israeli citizens and Palestinians living in Gaza. I am concerned by continued loss and devastation on both sides, and I urge the Biden administration to work to immediately deescalate tensions and bring about a ceasefire.

“The ongoing efforts to forcibly remove Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, as well as the excessive use of force against protestors on the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount, are also outrageous and inhumane. Not only do such actions undermine the dignity of the Palestinian people as well as prospects for achieving two states for two peoples, they threaten Israeli and American security.

“As a Member of Congress, an American citizen, and a Black American, I know that supporting Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state and supporting Palestinian human rights and self-determination are not mutually exclusive. All Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live without fear of terror attacks, violence, and displacement. I urge the State Department to make clear that the violence must end, and that the removals as well as other acts of de facto annexation must be permanently stopped.”