J Street welcomes the ceasefire reached between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a US-designated terrorist organization. We hope the ceasefire holds and call on all parties to work to preserve it.
The ceasefire follows tensions and Israel’s capture of a PIJ commander in the West Bank, and an Israeli military operation called “Breaking Dawn” that targeted top PIJ commanders in Gaza in order to preempt retaliation by PIJ against Israel. PIJ responded to the Israeli airstrikes comprising the operation with rocket fire into Israel, including into civilian areas.
Israel’s airstrikes reportedly resulted in the death of both PIJ fighters and Palestinian civilians, including children. There are also reports that malfunctioning PIJ rockets resulted in Palestinian civilian deaths. We grieve for the civilian lives lost in this latest round of violence and call for the circumstances of their deaths to be credibly and independently investigated.
We commend the Egyptian government for helping to negotiate the ceasefire and appreciate the constructive efforts of the Biden administration, UN Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland, Jordan, Qatar and the Palestinian Authority.
It is also noteworthy that Hamas apparently did not engage in the fighting. We continue our call on all parties to de-escalate the situation while working to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza which only worsens after such rounds of fighting.
As years of violence have made clear, there is no military solution to this conflict. Only a resolution to the conflict that fulfills the legitimate national rights of both peoples can ensure lasting security. Those who care about the lives and well-being of Israel and Palestinians must work with urgency to set out a means — and a clear political horizon — for bringing that about.