In New Letter, Senators Urge Trump Administration Action to Alleviate Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

May 16, 2018

J Street welcomes an important new letter to the Trump administration, signed by thirteen US Senators, calling for immediate steps by the US government to help alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The letter, addressed to the Secretary of State, makes clear that the terrible deprivation in Gaza, where most residents lack power, clean water, adequate medical care and many other basic necessities, constitutes a humanitarian and security disaster. It cites the concerns and recommendations of the Israeli security establishment, which has consistently warned that the humanitarian disaster in Gaza could further destabilize the border and increase the likelihood of violence — warnings that have clearly and disturbingly been borne out in recent weeks.

Initiated by Senator Bernie Sanders, the letter was signed by Senators Sherrod Brown, Tom Carper, Dianne Feinstein, Martin Heinrich, Patrick Leahy, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Jack Reed, Tom Udall, Chris Van Hollen, Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse.

We strongly endorse these senators’ recommendations for common sense measures that the Trump administration should take to help alleviate tensions and aid the nearly 2 million Gazan residents in desperate need of international support. The US should immediately restore funding for the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA; encourage the easing of the blockade on the territory to allow the greater movement of people, goods and equipment and support proposals to rebuild Gaza’s infrastructure and economy, like the construction of a new seaport.

J Street was proud to support and 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 casualties in Gaza mount and the situation worsens, 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.