Middle East

US House speaker urges ceasefire to end Gaza, Israel violence

Nancy Pelosi's appeal comes as Senate Republicans introduce resolution condemning Hamas rocket attacks

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 18.05.2021
US House speaker urges ceasefire to end Gaza, Israel violence

WASHINGTON 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a ceasefire on Tuesday to end ongoing hostilities in Israel and the Gaza Strip as the death toll continues to mount.

"After more than a week of hostilities, it has become even more apparent that a ceasefire is necessary," the top Democrat in the House of Representatives said in a statement. "There must be a serious effort on the part of both parties to end the violence and respect the rights of both the Israeli and Palestinian people."

The total number of people killed in ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip has risen to 213 on Tuesday, including 61 children, 36 women, and 16 elderly people, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry.

As many as 1,400 people have also been injured in the attacks, and the UN said Israeli attacks have made about 2,500 Palestinians homeless after their houses were completely destroyed. Roughly 38,000 Palestinians have been displaced.

Ten Israelis have also been killed in Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

Pelosi's call comes as two-fifths of the Senate's Republicans introduced a resolution condemning Hamas' rocket attacks "and reaffirming the United States’ unwavering commitment to our ally Israel and its right to take whatever means are necessary to stop the murder of its citizens and foreign nationals residing in Israel."

"The anti-Israel attacks and agenda I’ve seen pushed by supposed ‘leaders’ like AOC and Senator Bernie Sanders are disgusting and antithetical to American ideals. Let’s remember what we are witnessing: these are terrorists ruthlessly attacking an ally," lead sponsor Rick Scott said in a statement.

He was referring to congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been a prominent voice among Democrats who call for the US to overhaul its Israel policy.

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