Several Democratic members of the US Congress have spoken out against the support President Joe Biden is giving Israel in the ongoing intense fighting between the Jewish state and Palestinians in the Gaza strip.
The lawmakers, mostly House of Representatives members opposed other Democrats and Republicans, insist that Palestinians’ rights are protected.
Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib while speaking in the House on Friday criticized Biden and other top officials for offering statements that she said did not acknowledge “Palestinian humanity”.
White House earlier on Thursday quoted Biden saying the US national security team is putting efforts together with counterparts in Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to try to bring about a resolution of the conflict.
Biden had made the statement just after a phone conversation with Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Before that, the US President on Wednesday said that Israel has a right to defend itself, while in his latest comments on Thursday he repeated a call for both sides to hold fire.
“To read the statements from President [Joe] Biden, Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken, General [Lloyd] Austin and leaders of both parties, you would hardly know Palestinians existed at all,” said Tlaib, the US Congress’s only Palestinian-American member.
“There has been no recognition of the attack on Palestinian families being ripped from their homes right now. No mention of children being detained or murdered. No recognition of a sustained campaign of harassment and terror by Israeli police against worshippers kneeling down and praying and celebrating the holiest days in one of their holiest places, no mention of Al-Aqsa being surrounded by violence, tear gas, smoke, while people pray.”
In the same vein, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar condemned Israel’s policies and attacks against Palestinians and branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an “ethno-nationalist leader”.
“Consider that 78 percent of their [Palestinians’] land was taken from them,” Omar said, referring to the time passed since the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948.
“Since then, 5.6 million Palestinians have been continually displaced from their homes in one of the largest among the lasting refugee crises in human history.”
Congresswoman Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also made the list of lawmakers against the US position on the matter while Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, Josh Gottheimer, Congressman Brad Sherman went pro-Israel camp.
The Biden administration on Friday reiterated that it was working towards de-escalation of the conflict.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters the administration was focused on leveraging U.S. relationships in the region to end the crisis between Israel and the Islamist militant Hamas diplomatically.
At least 122 people have been killed in the violence since Monday and Israel continues to pound several airstrikes to curb the Hamas militants.