In the face of a mounting and deeply troubling death toll, J Street supports President Obama's decision to send Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East to promote an end to the current round of violence between Israel and Hamas. We hope the Secretary will succeed in finding a formula to bring all parties into a ceasefire agreement quickly.
The toll of this crisis is tragic. We mourn the loss of Israeli soldiers and the ever-rising number of civilians in Gaza, particularly the large number of those victims who are children. We continue to urge Israel to make every effort to minimize civilian casualties.
We remain gravely concerned about both continued rocket fire from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians and the expansive network of tunnels into Israel and throughout Gaza being used to plan and execute attacks.
Beyond the need to end the current hostilities, the events of the past month underscore the urgency of finding a political solution to the underlying conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. When a ceasefire is reached, we urge the leaders in the region and in the international community to use renewed calm as an opportunity to re-focus on longer term solutions that address the deeper issues at stake, including the urgent need for a two-state solution.