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August 12, 2018 10:17 am

Congress and Jewish Groups Express Solidarity With Israel After Hamas Rocket Barrage

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The site where a mortar shell from Gaza hit an apartment building and cars in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, near the border with Gaza, on Aug. 9, 2018. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

JNS.org – Members of Congress and the American Jewish community are reacting to the most recent escalation between Hamas and Israel, with the former firing rockets from Gaza into the latter.

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) posted on Twitter, “150 rockets fired at Israel from Hamas and other terrorists last night. 11 wounded. Israel has the right to defend itself from any attacks on its people. These attacks must stop. Hamas’ brutality continues to threaten the lives of Israelis and Palestinians.”

Similarly, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, “strongly condemned” the rocket fire.

“I support Israel’s right to self-defense. No one should have to live under this threat, and no country should be asked to sit on its hands while citizens face a barrage of rockets,” Engel said in a statement.

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Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) said that he stands with Israel.

“As a key national security partner, we must strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said on Twitter. “With the latest rocket attacks, Hamas continues to escalate conflict rather than seek peace.”

“[Tuesday] night in the largest escalation of violence by Hamas since 2014, terrorists fired over 180 rockets into Israel’s southern region injuring innocent civilians,” Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) posted on Facebook. “These violent attacks by Hamas must come to an end. I stand with Israel in its right to defend itself and protect its people.”

Meanwhile, the Jewish organizations expressed their outrage over the Hamas rocket barrage as well as their support.

“B’nai B’rith International is outraged by the Hamas rocket barrage against Israel, and we stand in solidarity with the Jewish state,” said B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin.

The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations also expressed solidarity with Israel.

“We express solidarity with the people of the State of Israel who have been consistently terrorized by the rocket and mortar attacks, incendiary balloons and border infiltrations carried out by members of Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza,” said chairman Arthur Stark and executive vice chairman/CEO Malcolm Hoenlein. “Since May 2018, nearly 650 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip targeting Israeli population centers, and, in the last 24 hours alone, over 150 rockets have been launched, representing only the latest examples of violence in Hamas’s violations of international law, civic and human rights.”

“We support the measures taken by the government of Israel to protect and defend civilian lives, and hope that its actions will bring about a swift end to these indiscriminate attacks,” continued Stark and Hoenlein. “No country would or should put up with these violations of its territorial integrity or security of its citizens.”

A ceasefire mediated by Egypt was reached between Israel late Thursday evening.

“We look forward to the day when the residents of Israel’s south can live in peace and without constant threat,” said Stark and Hoenlein.

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