MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after Israeli and Hamas officials announced they had agreed to an open-ended ceasefire.
“I am happy and relieved with yesterday’s ceasefire agreement,” Rep. Ellison said. “I call on all parties to comply with the agreement and refrain from further violence. It is time to move forward with negotiations and diplomacy that will ultimately end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The terms of the ceasefire will benefit both sides. The immediate easing of the blockade and the expansion of the fishing zone off the coast will improve economic opportunity for average Gazans. An end to rocket fire will allow Israelis to return to normal life without fearing for their lives. As negotiations continue, I hope that more progress can be made on ending the blockade, ensuring Israeli security, and reaching a full and final status agreement.
“Now that the rocket attacks and airstrikes have ended it is time to assist those who have been harmed by this conflict. The people of Gaza are in desperate need of humanitarian aid and the United States and our international partners should help provide it. Our government should also coordinate with the international community and the Palestinian Authority to ensure that any humanitarian effort in Gaza empowers the civilian population. We cannot allow terror organizations to prevent the international community from helping those who need it most.
“The parties must use this ceasefire as an opportunity to return to permanent status negotiations – simply agreeing to postpone the war is not enough. Israelis have the right to live in peace and security, free from rocket attacks, tunnels, and indiscriminate terror. Palestinians have the right to a state of their own, with full economic, social, and political freedom. I once again call on all parties to respect the terms of this ceasefire, and to remain at the negotiating table.”
Representative Ellison wrote an op-ed calling for a permanent ceasefire and the lifting of the blockade of Gaza on July 29th, 2014. The op-ed appeared in the Washington Post.
Link to Press Statement: Congressman Keith Ellison
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WI-2 Mark Pocanwww.pocanforcongress.com/