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13 Jewish Democrats Pen Letter To Biden Urging 'Temporary' Cease-Fire, Hostage Deal

23.02.2024 01:27

Jewish members of Congress urge US president to 'exhaust every effort to facilitate' agreement.

Over a dozen Jewish members of Congress urged US President Joe Biden Thursday to "exhaust every effort to facilitate" what they described as an agreement for a "temporary ceasefire" in the besieged Gaza Strip.

That deal, they wrote in a letter to the president, should be made in exchange for the "immediate return of all of the 134 hostages, including six Americans who have been languishing in captivity for months."

"Recently, we learned that 32 of the 134 remaining hostages are dead. Every day that the remaining living hostages are left to suffer in the tunnels in Gaza without medical attention increases the chances that more will die. The hostages and their families simply cannot wait any longer," they wrote.

"Likewise, the situation for the civilian population in Gaza is dire and desperate. At least 1.4 million displaced Palestinians in Gaza cannot wait any longer for access to additional humanitarian aid to alleviate widespread hunger, homelessness, and the continuing spread of dangerous diseases," they added.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas. The ensuing Israeli war has killed nearly 30,000 people, and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Nearly 70,000 people have been injured.

About 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. -

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