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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Members of Congress Speak Out Against Recent Attacks from Gaza

Members of Congress from both parties expressed solidarity with Israel and strongly condemned the recent wave of attacks on Israeli citizens emanating from the Gaza Strip. On May 29 and 30, the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched more than 100 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip into Israeli communities. Although the Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted many of the projectiles, several struck Israeli targets, including the yard of an Israeli kindergarten.

Here is a sampling of statements:

U.S. Senate

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Hamas targeted Israeli civilian structures. This is why I will always ensure that the iron dome is funded. Israel has every right to defend herself. Hamas controls Gaza and is responsible for attacks on Israeli citizens. They must be held accountable.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Today Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists like Hamas launched over 100 rockets & mortars at Israel. They attacked in the morning as Israeli children were walking to school. These attacks came after months of using Palestinian human shields as cover for other attacks on Israel. I unequivocally stand with Israel and support Israel’s actions to defend itself. The media must cease its mendacious coverage blaming Israel for Gaza violence, which rewards Hamas for its barbaric tactics. Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip must be defeated.

U.S. House of Representatives

House Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

The latest attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza against civilians in Israel underscore the danger facing our ally every day. Attacks like these remind us who is truly keeping Palestinians’ aspirations from being met. The United States will continue to stand by Israel as it defends itself against terror and violence. I will continue to pay close attention to events on the ground and make it clear that support for Israel in our country remains bipartisan and robust.

House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY)

I condemn the recent escalation by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza who have launched a barrage of rockets toward Israel. Firing rockets into civilian areas shows their callous disregard for human life, even for Palestinians of Gaza whom Hamas’s terror places at risk.     

Once again, sirens warn families to run for cover. No country should have to live like this.     

I support Israel’s right to self defense, and I will monitor the situation closely to ensure that the United States stands by Israel in word and deed.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)

We stand with our ally Israel at this critical time. The largest attacks since 2014 by Hamas and other militants against Israeli civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten, are inexcusable and should be condemned by the international community.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)

Today, critical U.S. ally Israel has defended against Hamas mortar attacks targeted toward Israeli towns. Attacks from the Gaza Strip against innocent Israelis must end.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL)

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are barbaric terrorist groups only interested in their own power and inhumane ideology. They have occupied and repressed the people of Gaza, and they continue to launch mortar and rocket attacks on innocent Israeli civilians, including little children.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)

The barrage of rockets, many Iranian-made, fired from Gaza towards Israeli civilian populations are a cowardly act of terror. The United States stands firmly behind Israel and its right to defend itself.

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)

A mortar shell fired by terrorists in Gaza landed in a kindergarten yard in Israel. Sirens have been ringing all day warning civilians to take cover from rocket attacks. Israel has a right to defend itself and protect its citizens from attacks by Hamas & Islamic Jihad terrorists.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

Hamas’ continued rocket fire at Israeli civilians – including hitting homes and kindergartens – is appalling. Hamas alone is responsible for these attacks and I continue to fully support Israel’s right to defend itself.

Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL)

In the past 24 hours Israelis have had to take shelter from rockets & mortar shells fired from Gaza, targeting innocent civilians. No country should have to live like this. I stand by #Israel’s right to protect itself against indiscriminate attacks & hope the cease-fire holds.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

Nearly 200 mortars and rockets were fired at Israeli communities from Gaza over the past 24 hours. No other country in the world would be expected to put up with such violence. Israel has the right to protect its citizens from harm. I am glad to see that a cease-fire is holding.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL)

In just one day, Hamas fired more than 100 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, including attacking a kindergarten. Tragically, yet unsurprisingly, a Hamas spokesman admitted earlier this year to sending civilians, including women and children, to die in demonstrations in order to influence international media coverage.     

Language from my bill with U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy was recently included in the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure Israel is empowered to defend itself. We cannot allow the defense of our ally Israel to be an issue of right versus left. For me, standing with Israel—for democracy and human rights—will always be an issue of right versus wrong.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)

In 24 hours, Hamas fired 100+ rockets & mortar shells into Israel. A civilian home & a kindergarten were hit. This underscores why I intro’d a bill w/ @RepBrianMast to help Israel defend itself. Proud the NDAA recently approved in the House includes language from our bill.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Today, terrorists in Gaza fired rockets into Israel, some of which landed in a kindergarten schoolyard. Israel has a right to defend itself and protect its citizens from attacks. The world must speak out and condemn such acts of terrorism and violence.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

I condemn #Hamas attacks against #Israel communities this morning. Responsible nations must call these acts for what they are + work to hold these terrorists accountable. Congress continues to stand with the #Jewish State as it defends its citizens.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)

While I am encouraged by reports of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, I remain saddened by the violence that has ensued and the people who have been killed and injured. I urge restraint on both sides to end the bloodshed and work towards a brighter, more peaceful future.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY)

We must condemn the rocket attacks launched by Hamas from Gaza against Israel civilians. One of these rockets even landed near a kindergarten. Israel, like all other nations, has the right to protect its citizens from this type of unwarranted violence.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA)

The United States must strongly condemn the attacks launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians. These acts of terrorism against our ally will not be tolerated. Israel has every right to defend itself against these heinous attacks.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

The world must be united in condemning the persistent rocket fire targeted at innocent civilians in Israel. No nation would or should tolerate these cowardly acts. Israel, like all countries, has the responsibility to defend its citizens against this terrorist threat.

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)

Yesterday morning Hamas attacked Israel with dozens of mortar shells in the worst terrorist attack of its kind since 2014. This continuation of Iran-funded terrorist activity against Israel and her people should not be tolerated. The US #StandsWithIsrael

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