An important new letter signed by 70 members of Congress calls on the Trump administration to take immediate action to help alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Following on a similar letter sent by 13 senators in May, this is the latest indication that members of Congress are deeply concerned by the disastrous situation in Gaza, and by the inadequate and counterproductive approach the Trump administration has taken to the crisis.
The letter, addressed to the secretary of state and the national security advisor, makes clear that the terrible deprivation in Gaza, where most residents lack adequate power, clean water, medical care and many other basic necessities, constitutes a humanitarian and security disaster. It cites the concerns and recommendations of Israel’s security establishment, which has consistently warned that the humanitarian disaster in Gaza could increase the likelihood of violence and endanger Israelis — warnings that have clearly and disturbingly been borne out in recent months.
The letter was led by Reps. Mark Pocan, Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky and John Yarmuth. Its signers challenge the administration’s dangerous and unnecessary cuts to funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and humanitarian programs assisted by USAID, and call for this funding to be fully restored. They also call for the US to encourage our allies to ease the blockade on the movement of goods, equipment and people in and out of Gaza.
J Street was proud to advocate on behalf of this deeply important message from prominent lawmakers. The crisis in Gaza calls for steps to break the disastrous status quo and cycle of violence. Instead of standing idly by while violence and suffering escalate, the US government should be taking bold action to provide humanitarian relief to those in need — and strongly encouraging Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to do the same.