– A group of US Democratic senators, including Tammy Baldwin, Tim Kaine, and Chris Van Hollen, urged President Joe Biden to encourage Israel to take immediate steps to provide humanitarian aid for innocent civilians in Gaza.
– The senators emphasized the need to protect civilians during armed conflict, citing International Humanitarian Law.
– The letter was sent as Biden’s administration was nearing a deal to free some of the 240 hostages taken by Hamas militants during a deadly cross-border rampage from Gaza into Israel.
– The crisis has divided Congress, with only about three dozen Democratic members backing calls for a ceasefire, which Israel rejects as something that would allow Hamas to regroup.
– The lawmakers emphasized the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and called for the sustained delivery of water, food, fuel, and other basic necessities, including by reopening the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza.