Letter to the President calls for sustained delivery of aid, opening of Kerem Shalom border crossing, and medical attention for civilians injured

Washington (November 20, 2023) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) joined Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who led their colleagues, in urging President Joe Biden to work with Israel and international partners to implement a plan that will protect innocent civilian life in Gaza, deliver sustained humanitarian aid, and work toward the long term goals of ending Hamas’s threat, bringing hostages home, and achieving sustainable peace in the region through a two-state solution. In the letter to President Biden, the senators call for the protection of civilians and civilian sites, the opening of the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and access to prompt medical attention for civilians injured to help address the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“As you and your administration work with Israel and international partners to secure the release of hostages and respond to the terror attack on Israel, we join you in your urgent call for humanitarian assistance for Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We encourage you to work with international partners to achieve expeditious implementation of a plan for sustained humanitarian aid in Gaza. We hope you’ll join us in encouraging our ally Israel to take immediate steps to help provide critical humanitarian aid to the innocent civilians in Gaza, including re-opening the Kerem Shalom border crossing to allow life-saving water, food, and fuel to reach vulnerable civilians,” the senators wrote.

The senators continued, “We are concerned that increased and prolonged suffering in Gaza is not only intolerable for Palestinian civilians there but will also negatively impact the security of Israeli civilians by exacerbating existing tensions and eroding regional alliances.”

The senators concluded, “This conflict will not be solved by force alone. Preservation of and respect for innocent life is both morally right and the best hope for a long-term strategy to accomplish security, stability, and peace in the region.”

In addition to Senators Markey, Baldwin, Kaine, and Van Hollen, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) also signed the letter.

The full letter can be found here.