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US House Speaker Urges Senate Majority Leader To Sign Letter Inviting Netanyahu To Address Congress

22.05.2024 00:42

Mike Johnson gives Chuck Schumer Tuesday evening deadline to comply.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday to sign a letter inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deliver an address to Congress.

"My office told Senator Schumer's office yesterday that he needed to sign the joint letter," Johnson told reporters according to media reports, giving Schumer a deadline of Tuesday evening to do so.

"And if not, we were going to proceed and invite Netanyahu just to the House," he added.

Schumer noted that he was discussing the issue with the speaker, adding that "as I've always said, our relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends any one prime minister or president."

The Democratic leader previously called for new elections in Israel and harshly criticized Netanyahu's leadership.

Schumer said he believed that Netanyahu had "lost his way" by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel.

"Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah," he said in March. "As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me that Netanyahu's coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after Oct. 7."

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

More than 35,600 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and nearly 79,900 others injured since Oct. 7 last year following an attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. -

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