U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, whose 8th District of Virginia includes the City of Falls Church, issued the following statement on Sunday about the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine:
“The loss of life and injuries suffered by Israelis and Palestinians are a heartbreaking tragedy. All parties must de-escalate, negotiate a ceasefire as soon as possible, and end this cycle of violence. The United States should use every available lever to make this happen.
“As Secretary Blinken said, ‘Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity.’ We must condemn the rocket attacks on the State of Israel, which of course provoked defensive and retaliatory strikes from the Israeli Defense Forces. Hamas has fired over 1800 rockets from Gaza at Israel, showing reckless disregard for Palestinian as well as Israeli lives. This must stop.
“At the same time, the Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security. I condemn the excessive use of force against the Palestinian protestors in Jerusalem and the forcible removal of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. These evictions along with settlement expansionism amount to a policy of creeping annexation that is unacceptable.
“It is deeply important that all parties end the violence and take steps towards a two-state solution that respects the rights and aspirations of Palestinians while ensuring a secure State of Israel as the democratic homeland for the Jewish people. We cannot allow the zealots to drive the agenda. Calmer heads must prevail and bring an end to the killing.”
Beyer previously served as a U.S. Ambassador abroad during the Obama Administration