Washington, DC – Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee released the following statement after a call with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan:

“I am grateful for having the opportunity to talk earlier today with National Security Advisor Sullivan. I requested the call to lend encouragement to efforts to deescalate the multiple conflicts in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. I asked Mr. Sullivan to swiftly nominate a U.S. Ambassador to Israel, do what is necessary to allow Israel to defend itself against missile attacks from Gaza, and work to aid the Palestinian people.

“The missile launches from Gaza are nothing short of abhorrent terrorist attacks meant to kill, injure, and terrorize civilians. They must end and never happen again. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and their enablers, bear full responsibility for the violence. Condemnation of rocket fire from Gaza must not come with a qualifier, and I will continue to work to provide Israel the resources it needs to defend itself.

“I addressed with Mr. Sullivan the simultaneous problems that must be acknowledged and addressed to ensure Hamas cannot take advantage of a volatile situation in Jerusalem and ensure the conflict between peoples one day will come to an equitable end. I remain deeply concerned by the violence in Jerusalem, including the heavy-handed police responses in Sheikh Jarrah and on the Temple Mount. I continue to encourage the Israeli government to permanently halt the unjust eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem. And I worry greatly about the simmering conflicts between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel.

“I firmly believe the United States must stand with the State of Israel, its identity as the Jewish homeland, and its right to live in safety and prosperity, and I am also insistent that the United States recognize the desire of the Palestinian people to have freedom and prosperity and security of their own.  These convictions are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they are mutually reinforcing.”