WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) led 55 of their colleagues in urging the State Department to affirm the United States’ strong opposition to the forced and permanent displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, and to support an increase in humanitarian aid to the region. Since the brutal Hamas attack on October 7, over 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza—80 percent of the population—have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict.
In their letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the lawmakers voiced their support for the Biden Administration’s strong opposition to any consideration of the idea of forced transfer of Palestinians out of Gaza and clear public comments reiterating that position, and expressed their concern about extremist rhetoric from Israeli officials and proposals from some within the Israeli government calling for the forcible transfer of Palestinians out of Gaza.
“We write to support the Biden administration’s continued strong opposition to any consideration of the idea of forced transfer of Palestinians out of Gaza,” the lawmakers wrote. “We appreciate President Biden’s clear commitment, in calls with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah II, to ensure that Palestinians in Gaza will not be displaced to any other nation.”
“We urge you to continue to reiterate the United States’ firm commitment to this position and ask that you provide clarification regarding certain provisions of the administration’s supplemental humanitarian and security funding request,” the lawmakers continued. “Any forced expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza would only exacerbate the trauma and pain Palestinian civilians in Gaza are already experiencing as a result of this conflict and cause more regional tension and conflict for decades to come.”
The lawmakers also asked Secretary Blinken for clarity around President Biden’s supplemental humanitarian and security funding request transmitted to Congress on October 20, which requested funding to “address potential needs of Gazans fleeing to neighboring countries.”
“In light of the President’s recognition of the importance of preventing Palestinian displacement, we aim to prevent any confusion or misinterpretation that this funding request could in any way signal U.S. support for potential transfer of Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip,” the lawmakers continued. “We ask for a clarification of the U.S. position on this question and that you continue to make clear American opposition to any forced transfer of population to both the Israeli government and the Palestinian people.”
Citing the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the lawmakers also urged Secretary Blinken to support the increase of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip to address the humanitarian catastrophe.
“The United States must ensure that there is no question that Palestinian civilians who wish to remain in the Gaza Strip have the right to do so,” the lawmakers wrote.
Joining Reps. Pressley and Raskin in signing the letter are Representatives Becca Balint, Nanette Barragán, Ami Bera, Donald Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Cori Bush, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, André Carson, Greg Casar, Sean Casten, Judy Chu, Steve Cohen, Gerand Connolly, Danny Davis, Madeleine Dean, Mark DeSaulnier, Lloyd Doggett, Anna Eshoo, Dwight Evans, Jesús “Chuy” García, Al Green, Raúl Grijalva, Jonathan Jackson, Sara Jacobs, Pramila Jayapal, Henry “Hank” Johnson, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Marcy Kaptur, Rick Larsen, Barbara Lee, Stephen F. Lynch, Seth Magaziner, Doris Matsui, Betty McCollum, James P. McGovern, Gwen Moore, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Mike Quigley, Delia Ramirez, Andrea Salinas, Jan Schakowsky, Melanie Stansbury, Mike Thompson, Rashida Tlaib, Jill Tokuda, Paul Tonko, Nydia M. Velázquez, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Susan Wild.
A copy of the letter can be found here.