Statement from Congressman Andy Kim Calling for Steps to Immediate Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas

May 13, 2021
Press Release


Statement from Congressman Andy Kim Calling for Steps to Immediate Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) released the following statement outlining immediate actions to help broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to put a stop to escalating hostilities.

“I’m deeply saddened to see the suffering that is taking place in the Holy Land. Israeli and Palestinian civilians, especially children, should never be the victims bearing the brunt of conflict and their tragic loss is making peace harder to realize. An immediate ceasefire by the Israeli government and Hamas is essential to prevent further harm and destruction and to preserve the possibility of peace through a two-state solution.

This ceasefire is only possible through multilateral engagement and support. The U.S. should work to support partners in the region in brokering a ceasefire that leads to an immediate cessation of hostilities building towards a durable peace. To support this process, the Biden Administration can take immediate and substantive steps including:

MAXIMIZE DIRECT SUSTAINED ENGAGEMENT: President Biden should act immediately to nominate a U.S. Ambassador to Israel and reopen the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem to strengthen U.S. engagement with the Palestinian people. He should also follow up U.S. official Hady Amr’s current visit by sending a more senior official to the region. President Biden can also allow the reopening of the PLO mission in Washington, D.C. in a matter consistent with U.S. law. These steps would demonstrate the priority we place on engagement and diplomacy.

PROTECT CIVILIANS: The U.S. should lift up those suffering and living in poor conditions by strengthening initial commitments for humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people while also fully funding our ongoing commitments of support to Israel. Congress should maximize support for defensive systems like Iron Dome that have played critical roles in keeping Israeli civilians safe.

ACCELERATE REGIONAL NORMALIZATION: We have seen real progress towards normalized relations for Israel and peace in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords. Our strong alliance with Israel underscores the need for major investments to bring about this regional transformation that could renew the potential for a two-state solution and uphold human rights for all. Congress should pass legislation like the Israel Relations Normalization Act and work with the Biden Administration to implement this critical task.

Full-scale war is not inevitable, and leaders should do everything possible to avoid escalatory conflict. Now is a time to de-escalate hostilities while escalating diplomacy before more lives are taken.”

Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Congressman is also a co-chair of the House Democratic National Security Task Force. Prior to serving in the House, Congressman Kim worked as a career public servant under both Democrats and Republicans. He served at USAID, the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House National Security Council, and in Afghanistan as an advisor to Generals Petraeus and Allen. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here