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Houlahan Issues Statement on Israel-Hamas War

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement:


I believe in Israel’s right to protect its citizens and sovereignty against the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas.  

However, I am deeply concerned with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current stated intention to move the conflict to Rafah with no apparent realistic or feasible plan to protect the innocent civilian lives who shelter there. He and his administration have not previously demonstrated the restraint that gives me any confidence that this would be an exception from past incursions. As a veteran, I’m acutely aware that loss of life for those who take up arms is to be expected. However, all parties should always act to protect innocent lives and to adhere to the rules and laws of armed conflict. I do not see enough evidence that the Israeli administration has shown the appropriate commitment to these fundamental principles. My heart grieves for the pain and loss of thousands of innocent Palestinian and Israeli people. 

I believe the Israeli government and Hamas should pursue lasting peace through a negotiated ceasefire and with the return of all hostages ruthlessly abducted from Israel on October 7, 2023. 

Whether one refers to this as a “negotiated ceasefire,” “negotiated pause,” “humanitarian pause,” or “strategic pause” — is far less critical than the actions that will follow: a cessation of hostilities and an eventual end to this horrific loss of life. 

I am heartened to see the Biden administration working tirelessly with other nations to urge both parties in this war to agree to this pause in hostilities — a pause of some predetermined and significant length — and to the immediate and safe return of the hostages. I urge the Biden Administration not to relent in this pursuit. 

I also urge the United States to work to ensure that the possibility of a two-state solution is preserved. To that end, I also ask our interlocutors and negotiators to continue to press for actions that include, but are not limited to: opposing the forcible displacement of Palestinians in Gaza; opposing Israeli settlement of Gaza; and accountability for Israeli settlers attacking Palestinians and Palestinians attacking Israelis in the West Bank. Lastly, a two-state solution can only be possible when there is a real and clear path for a fairly elected civilian government in Gaza and real and clear assurances from neighboring countries of a safe, respected and rightful place for Israel in the region.  

Peace is possible, but only with those who are willing to come to the table and craft and honor negotiated agreements; only with those who adhere to the rules and laws of war; and only with those who seek just, real, and lasting peace.

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She is the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award which “recognizes members who demonstrate the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward” and the Congressional Management Foundation’s 2022 Democracy Award for best Constituent Services in Congress.