Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Jim McGovern (MA-02) wrote President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the administration to continue working to ensure the safety of infants and children living under terror and violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. The lawmakers, joined by 25 cosigners, reiterated the importance of protecting children suffering from the devastating consequences of war as the United States works to secure the immediate release of all hostages and send humanitarian aid to civilians in the region. 

The lawmakers wrote, “If our world can agree on nothing else, surely we can agree that children must be protected from the horrific consequences of terrorism and war; that the endangerment of children, and grave violations of their rights and physical safety, by terrorist attacks and in armed conflict must end immediately; and that it is long past time to stop this cycle of violence and trauma that has ruined the lives of far too many children.” 

Pregnant women, infants and children were targets during the October 7 terrorist attacks against Israel, and children have been among the casualties of the aerial bombardment of Gaza and the recent settler violence in the West Bank. 

The October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel killed 1,200 people in Israel, among them at least 38 children and babies, with others left orphaned. While several adult hostages were released by Hamas, more than 240 persons remain in captivity, including 32 children, and many hostages, including nursing mothers, have been separated from their infants and children. 

The aerial bombardment and war in Gaza has left at least 11,078 Palestinians dead, nearly half of those casualties children and babies. At least 2,260 Palestinians in Gaza, including at least 1,270 children, have been reported missing by the United Nations and are presumed to be either trapped under the rubble still awaiting rescue or dead.  

During this same time, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 41 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank. 

The letter is available here in full