Washington (January 16, 2024) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after voting no on a motion to table S. Res. 504, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): 

“More than three months have passed since Hamas’s heinous terrorist attack against Israel and the start of the war it caused, an attack that Israel has every right to defend itself against. I remain steadfast in my calls for a sustainable peace that ensures a secure State of Israel and an independent and sovereign State of Palestine.  

“But an enduring peace that recognizes two states for two peoples will not be possible unless the extremist right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stops indiscriminately bombing Gaza, killing innocent Palestinians in the process, and continuing the grave humanitarian crisis that has led the United Nations humanitarian chief to describe Gaza as ‘uninhabitable.’ Netanyahu’s conduct of this war, alongside the actions of Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, has only reinforced my belief that military aid the United States provides to Israel – like all foreign military aid the United States provides to its allies – must comply with U.S. and international law. I have co-sponsored an amendment to the supplemental aid package, introduced by Senator Chris Van Hollen, which reaffirms this important principle. We must also resume the ceasefire that allowed for desperately needed humanitarian aid to get into Gaza and that facilitated the release of 105 hostages so that all hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 are freed.  

“For decades, I have steadfastly stood by Israel, and I will always stand with the State of Israel and its people and support its right to exist. But the Netanyahu government cannot continue to conduct the war in Gaza the way it has until now. It must protect innocent Gazan civilians, negotiate the return of the remaining hostages held by Hamas, and unequivocally commit that it will not engage in a forcible mass transfer of Palestinian civilians from Gaza. Even amidst war, we must work for peace. The United States, the international community, and regional parties must prevent further, dangerous expansion of this conflict throughout the Middle East and beyond and move with purpose towards an enduring peace between Israel and Palestine.”