Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the on-going conflict in Gaza:
“As a stalwart advocate for Israel’s security, I understand Israel’s need to defend itself from terrorism. No country in the world would tolerate attacks across its border, on its civilians, without responding.
“At the same time, I am deeply concerned about the current conflict, particularly the civilian deaths and casualties and lack of adequate humanitarian aid. I urge both Palestinian and Israeli leaders to do as much as they possibly can to address the humanitarian challenges.
“I urge both sides to pursue an immediate and durable ceasefire. This pattern of explosive violence interspersed with lulls in fighting is ultimately a dead end. The United States has a vital national interest in peace and stability in the region, and I’m hopeful that a new U.S. Administration can help Israel and the Palestinians find a way forward that gives both people the opportunity to live peacefully and freely.”