(The Center Square) – All 12 members of Washington state’s congressional delegation have issued statements or joined in a bipartisan House resolution condemning Saturday’s assault by Hamas on the nation of Israel.
“We must stand in solidarity with Israel in repelling this brutal attack on civilians and their towns,” U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said on Saturday. “My heart goes out to the victims of these terrorist attacks and I am praying for civilians caught up in the fighting. We must ensure full U.S. support for Israel to defend itself and work to avoid further escalation and a wider war.”
In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said at least 14 Americans are believed to be among the victims, which included over 900 Israelis killed and 2,400 persons injured.
Along with launching a bombardment of an estimated 4,500 missiles, Hamas terrorists are also accused of slaughtering Israelis and abducting hostages, including children and the elderly, from towns in southern Israel.
“As we continue to learn more about the horrific terrorist attacks on Israel, we are seeing the heartbreaking scope and scale of this grotesque assault. At this point, we know that at least 14 American civilians were among those murdered, including a University of Washington graduate, and Americans are among those being held hostage by Hamas,” said Murray.
“The utter cruelty of this brutal terrorist attack by Hamas, the indiscriminate killing and maiming of civilians, and the celebration of death and human suffering are indescribably chilling,” she said.
Murray said the violence “has nothing to do with Palestinian liberation or the will of the Palestinian people. It is an unprovoked act of terror by a group with genocidal intentions against Jews, full stop. Hamas places no value on human life, Israeli or Palestinian, and they carried out this brutal attack with full knowledge that it would put innocent Palestinians in harm’s way.”
Congressional House members from Washington who have also spoken out against the attack are Democrats Suzan DelBene, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith and Marilyn Strickland, and Republicans Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse.
“As our strongest ally and sole democracy in the Middle East, the United States must stand with Israel unequivocally while they continue to defend themselves against this invasion,” said Newhouse. “It is imperative that this conflict concludes with an Israeli victory, and we should provide appropriate humanitarian and military aid to secure this outcome.”
On Tuesday, 392 members of the House of Representatives joined in a bipartisan resolution introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul, R-Tex., and Ranking Member Gregory W. Meeks, D-NY.
“President Biden has committed the United States fully to Israel’s self defense,” said Meeks. “Israel is responding to the Hamas terror organization’s unprecedented attack. The bipartisan resolution will demonstrate this is one issue in which the U.S. House of Representatives is united ….”
The House resolution “reaffirms Israel’s right to self-defense” and calls on all nations to “to unequivocally condemn Hamas’ brutal war on Israel.” It also condemns Iran’s support of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and urges full enforcement of U.S. sanctions against Iran to prevent its funding of such terrorist groups.
The resolution also calls for Hamas to immediately cease violent attacks, safely release all living hostages, and return the bodies of dead hostages. It also reaffirms U.S. commitment to Israeli security, consistent with the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, calls for full enforcement of the Taylor Force Act to bar any U.S. foreign assistance from benefitting terrorists, and would provide Israel with emergency resupply and other security, diplomatic, and intelligence support.
The latest conflict stems from long-standing disputes over multiple issues, including a two-state solution for Palestinians, settlements in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Egypt, refugee displacement of refugees, and the status of Jerusalem.