More than 400 political appointees and staff members from dozens of federal agencies are urging President Biden to call for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, a remarkable show of internal dissent over the White House’s approach to the conflict.
The protest is outlined in a formal letter to Mr. Biden and begins by denouncing the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants that killed more than 1,400 in Israel, then urges the president to stop the Palestinian civilian deaths caused by the Israeli military’s operations in Gaza, according to a review of the letter by newsfeedworld.
“We call on President Biden to urgently demand a cease-fire; and to call for de-escalation of the current conflict by securing the immediate release of the Israeli hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians; the restoration of water, fuel, electricity and other basic services; and the passage of adequate humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” the letter says.
The letter includes signatories from more than 40 agencies, including the FBI and the National Security Council, and points to public polling that shows robust support for a cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.
Palestinian authorities say more than 11,000 people have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory strikes targeting Hamas.
Mr. Biden has tried to walk a fine line since the Israeli military campaign began. He says he fully supports Israel’s right to respond to the Oct. 7 raids but says it must follow international law.
Mr. Biden and his team have stopped short of calling for a cease-fire, saying it would only allow Hamas to regroup, and have called for shorter humanitarian “pauses” to allow aid into Gaza.
Yet pressure is mounting on Mr. Biden from inside his own administration, particularly amid reports that Gaza hospital operations have been upended by the fighting.
“You know I have not been reluctant in expressing my concerns [about] what’s going on,” Mr. Biden said Monday. “And it is my hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action relative to the hospital.”