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Jayapal says Harris calling for 6-week cease-fire 'important,' calls to 'back it up with policy shift'

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) praised Vice President Kamala Harris for pushing for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war on Sunday, but urged the Biden administration to follow through on the words amid rising pressure from Democrats.

“The VP has called for an immediate ceasefire, and urgent aid into Gaza,” Jayapal wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “This is the first time this language has been used by the administration. It is important. Now let’s back it up with policy shift.”

“Given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is what is currently on the table,” Harris said during remarks in Selma, Alabama, Sunday.

Harris also criticized the Israeli government, denouncing the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza and calling on the country to facilitate more aid deliveries for Palestinian civilians.

The vice president’s remarks were some of the most definitive criticisms of the Israeli government from the Biden administration, as the White House increases pressure on the country over civilian deaths.

Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has been a leading force in urging the Biden administration to back a permanent cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Biden has refused to push for a permanent cease-fire, but has redoubled efforts for a short-term pause amid tense negotiations.

The Israeli government agreed to the framework of a proposed six-week cease-fire on Saturday, The Associated Press reported, a sign of progress in negotiations.

President Biden announced Friday that the U.S. will airdrop humanitarian aid into Gaza as negotiations continue over a temporary cease-fire. Biden added to criticism of Israel on Friday over the amount of aid allowed into the region.

“Innocent people got caught in a terrible war, unable to feed their families, and you saw the response when they tried to get aid. And we need to do more, and the United States will do more,” Biden said. 

“The truth is, aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough now. It’s nowhere nearly enough. Innocent lives are on the line, and children’s lives are on the line,” he added.

The airdrops began early Saturday. Harris applauded the aid deliveries and noted that the U.S. will work to establish a sea route for aid to enter Gaza.

“The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid,” she said Sunday. “No excuses.”

Source: The Hill

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