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Connolly Calls on Administration to Help Prevent Assault on Rafah

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) joined Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-PA), and 54 members of Congress in calling on the Administration to use all tools possible to dissuade the Israeli government from moving forward with an offensive invasion into Rafah.

“We write with urgency to say: an offensive invasion into Rafah by Israel in the upcoming days is wholly unacceptable,” wrote the Members. “Despite […] dire circumstances, the Israeli government is reportedly on the verge of a full-scale offensive on Rafah. An Israeli offensive in Rafah risks the start of yet another escalatory spiral, immediately putting the region back on the brink of a broader war that neither Israel nor the United States can afford.”

Before the horrific October 7th terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel, 280,000 Palestinians lived in Rafah. Now roughly 1.4 million people are sheltering in Rafah after being displaced. This overcrowding has caused further suffering through scarcity of food, water, and medicine.

“We urge you to invoke existing law and policy to immediately withhold certain offensive military aid to the Israeli government, including aid sourced from legislation already signed into law, in order to preempt a full-scale assault on Rafah,” continued the Members. “If the Israeli government will not uphold international law and protect civilians, then the United States must act to protect innocent life. We urge you to continue your work toward achieving a lasting ceasefire that will bring hostages home and build a path toward safety and security for all.”

In addition to Connolly, Jayapal, and Dean, the letter was also signed by Becca Balint (VT-At Large), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01), André Carson (IN-07), Greg Casar (TX-35), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Valerie Foushee (NC-04), Maxwell Frost (FL-10), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson (GA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Dan Kildee (MI-08), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Summer Lee (PA-12), Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Betty McCollum (MN-04), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Mark Takano (CA-39), Mike Thompson (CA-04), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

The full text of the letter can be read here.
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