Rep. Katie Porter Statement on Israel-Hamas War
Washington, December 18, 2023
Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) issued this statement on the Israel-Hamas war:
“Since Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, I have mourned the Israeli and Palestinian lives lost to escalating violence. The human tragedies of this war are painful to witness, and as Americans, we should all desire enduring peace and stability in the Middle East. I have long said that durable peace will require a two-state solution and a democratic Palestinian government free from Hamas.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent comments rejecting Palestinian governance of Gaza undermine the United States’ longstanding position that a two-state solution is necessary to achieve enduring peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. His remarks and actions necessitate tough conversations with our ally Israel about its long-term strategy and among U.S. policymakers about our approach in the Middle East.
“I support working toward a lasting bilateral ceasefire in Gaza. That must happen between the parties engaged in conflict, and this is a war between Israel and Hamas. The role of the United States should be to identify and push for conditions where a lasting bilateral ceasefire is possible. These conditions include release of all hostages, durable security for Israel, and an end to Hamas’ control of Gaza. A lasting peace will then require commitment to postwar economic and humanitarian aid to rebuild Gaza and negotiations toward a democratic Palestinian state with full and equal rights for its citizens.
“Diverting resources to its militants, Hamas allowed Palestinians in Gaza to suffer shortages of food, clean water, fuel, and medicine for years. The current war caused by Hamas’ terrorism has deepened an already terrible situation for Palestinian civilians, leading to incalculable devastation. The rising death toll of Palestinian civilians from infectious diseases and the lack of food, water, and medicine highlight the escalation of this tragedy. The situation is dire and requires an end to hostilities that threaten to worsen this conflict’s already appalling loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives.
“The Biden Administration must encourage a lasting bilateral ceasefire that brings remaining hostages home, secures Israel’s safety, removes Hamas from operational control of Gaza, and invests in creating a better economic and political architecture for Palestinians in Gaza. In this painful time, we must acknowledge heart-wrenching losses but not give up hope for a better future. A lasting bilateral ceasefire is a necessary step in achieving peace and prosperity for all.”