May 17, 2021

Congressman Castro Urges Cease Fire in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Concerned with Weapons Sale to Israel

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro (TX-20) released the following statement urging a cease fire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and expressing serious concerns over the Biden administration’s approval of a $735 million weapons sale to Israel:

“The increasing loss of civilian lives of Palestinians and Israelis is unconscionable and unacceptable. I’m particularly disturbed by the disproportionate bombing of the Gaza Strip, including the deaths of at least 92 women and children and the targeting of the Associated Press building. The Biden administration must use every diplomatic tool to de-escalate this conflict and bring about peace, and I reiterate my call from last week on the House floor and urge an immediate cease fire be accepted by Israel and Hamas.

“Congress was recently notified of the Biden administration’s approval of a $735 million weapons sale to Israel. While I have supported security assistance to Israel, including by funding the Iron Dome defense system, I have serious concerns about the timing of this weapons sale, the message it will send to Israel and the world about the urgency of a cease fire, and the open questions about the legality of Israel’s military strikes that have killed civilians in Gaza. The United States government must not exacerbate this horrific violence. The American people expect Congress to take a hard look at how military aid and weapon sales are used and ensure that human rights are upheld. 

“The status quo of occupation and creeping de-facto annexation is unjust and unsustainable, and neither makes the Israelis or Palestinians safer nor brings them closer to peace. The United States must make a concerted diplomatic effort to end the occupation and re-establish the commitment of both Israelis and Palestinians to a two-state solution.”