Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) released the following statement on the ongoing violence in the Middle East:

"I am deeply troubled by the accelerating violence in Israel and Gaza — and I condemn it. The attacks and retaliatory responses further destabilize the region, impeding the peace and freedoms that both Israelis and Palestinians deserve.

To be clear, Israel has the sovereign right and responsibility to defend herself and her citizens. I condemn the terroristic rockets fired by Hamas — a deadly reminder of the constant threat to the safety of our trusted ally. Israelis deserve to live in peace — and their security and right to self-determination must be protected.

Nevertheless, just as excessive force on protesters is unacceptable in the United States, so too is it unacceptable in Jerusalem, Gaza, and the rest of the world. We know too well that violence begets violence, and lasting peace, democracy and equality cannot be reached through force.

In the end, Israelis and Palestinians share a common humanity — one where each deserves respect, dignity, and safety. I am praying for urgent de-escalation and restraint by all parties to save the lives and homes of Israelis, Palestinians, and, most importantly, their children — and set us on a diplomatic path to peace."