WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, released the following statement:

“On October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists launched a brutal, barbaric attack on Israeli civilians – resulting in the gruesome loss of more than 1,400 men, women, children, and babies – including young adults as a peace festival.

As a result, Israel has the right – the responsibility – to dismantle Hamas terrorism.

And on the road to rooting out Hamas, we must ensure the return of the 240 known hostages – including at least 33 children – of all nationalities.

At the same time, we must urge Israel and the region to provide humanitarian aid, safe zones, and safe passage to those safe zones. That has not yet happened.

I am calling for a humanitarian pause in hostilities in Israel and Gaza in order to prioritize the health and safety of civilians.

We must protect the lives of Palestinian civilians, Gazans – half of whom are children – who have no affiliation with Hamas.

The death toll in Gaza is now in the thousands, including more than 3,400 children, according to UNICEF.

I have been to Gaza – I saw the dense, tightly packed communities. More than two million people, nearly half of whom are children, in a section of land the size of Philadelphia.

And the world knows Hamas hides behind Palestinian civilians — in tunnels, hospitals, schools, and residential buildings – using them as human shields. 

We must provide an opportunity for humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip – and for those who wish to leave to do so.

There has been some progress made in getting aid through the Rafah crossing, but it is not nearly enough to meet the need. Many are still in harm’s way without adequate food, water, fuel, and medical supplies.

In the pursuit of peace, Hamas must be defeated. And when it is, the United States will be there to help sow the seeds of long-lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

But in war, there are moral choices to be made – Israel must root out terrorism without destroying innocent life.

I am calling for a humanitarian pause of hostilities for the protection of innocent lives on both sides of the fence.”