Joint Statement from Representatives Jerry Nadler and Dan Goldman on Continued Support for Israel and Release of Hostages; Support for Pauses
Washington, October 26, 2023
JOINT STATEMENT FROM REPRESENTATIVES JERRY NADLER AND DAN GOLDMAN ON CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL AND RELEASE OF HOSTAGES; SUPPORT FOR PAUSES
It has been nearly three weeks since Hamas savagely attacked Israel, killing more than 1,400 Israelis and abducting more than 200 civilians as hostages inside Gaza – including American citizens. We condemn Hamas’s war crimes and its heinous, inhuman attacks on civilians, which have continued with rocket fire targeted at Israeli civilians and the war crime of holding innocent civilians hostage. We stand with the Israeli people and all those who have relatives, friends, and colleagues impacted by this tragedy, and we call on Hamas to release the hostages immediately.
Following October 7, we believe that Israel has an absolute right – indeed a moral obligation – to defend its citizens and borders in response to Hamas’s horrific terrorist attack, which was an operation consistent with Hamas’ stated mission of eradicating the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Israel will not be safe and secure until Hamas is defeated. At the same time, we are also deeply concerned by the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the increasing loss of civilian lives.
Israel’s war is against Hamas, not the Palestinian people. We urge Israel, in coordination with the United States, Egypt, and the international community, to continue to take all reasonable steps to avoid harm to noncombatants and to ensure that essential supplies, such as food, water, and medicine, are available to civilians in Gaza. And we urge Israel to continue to give warning to civilians to evacuate target areas, and call on Hamas to allow Palestinian civilians to heed those warnings.
We want to echo the calls from Biden Administration officials, including Secretary Blinken, and other Congressional colleagues to implement humanitarian pauses in the fighting to allow for aid to be delivered and unloaded in Gaza and for civilians to have sufficient time to access secure areas. This also requires an agreement from Hamas to allow aid to be delivered to civilians, and not siphoned off for their own terrorist aims. We also urge Hamas to release fuel and electricity used for its terrorism to the hospitals in Gaza to ensure that injured civilians receive medical care.
As Israel pursues its defense of its citizens and its efforts to release hostages, we must consider the United States’ recent experience with ground invasions of highly-populated areas and the significant loss of life that is likely to be incurred on both sides. We urge Israel to also take into account that experience as it weighs its strategic and military objectives, and to consider the reality that Hamas is willing to sacrifice innocent lives for its antisemitic objectives. We stand in support of President Biden’s goals of returning the hostages immediately, defeating Hamas, and protecting the lives of innocent Palestinians and Israelis.
U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler represents New York's 12th Congressional District, which includes parts of Manhattan, and serves as the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee.