In a statement released on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(D-Calif.) called for a “ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between Israel
,” going further than President Joe Biden
but failing to mention the over 200 Palestinians
killed by Israeli forces in recent days.
Pelosi echoed Biden's previous stance that Israel "has a right to defend" itself, condemning Hamas for "exploiting a volatile situation to initiate hostilities against Israel."
“Now, after more than a week of hostilities, it is even more clear that a ceasefire is required,” Pelosi wrote, urging both Israel and Hamas to “end the violence” and Israeli and Palestinian leaders to “strive for peace through a negotiated two-state solution.”
Pelosi made no mention of the events that led up to the Hamas rockets and Israeli airstrikes
last week, including the planned eviction
of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem
, which sparked protests, and Israeli police
's crackdown on protesters, which injured worshippers and unleashed tear gas in Al-Aqsa mosque
According to the Israeli army, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israeli cities, killing at least ten people
, including a child, since last Monday, while Israel has killed 212 Palestinians, including 61 children
, and 15 people in the West Bank, according to local officials.
Speaker Pelosi has called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and has reiterated her support for Israel: pic.twitter.com/0mH48kZDUi — Alex Miller (@AlexMillerNews) May 18, 2021
Earlier this week, more than two dozen senators, mostly Democrats
, called for a cease-fire in the conflict “to prevent any further civilian casualties and to prevent further escalation of conflict.”
According to a White House
readout, Biden “reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself” and “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians” in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Rep. Rashida Tlaib
(D-Mich.), a Palestinian American, took to the House floor last week with other progressive Democrats to condemn how Palestinians are “being killed as the world watches,” as well as U.S. leaders’ failure to recognize Palestinians’ suffering at the hands of Israel.
“No child, Palestinian or Israeli, whoever they are, should ever have to worry that death
will rain from the sky; how many of my colleagues are willing to say the same, to stand for Palestinian human rights as they do for Israeli?” Tlaib enthused.