WASHINGTON – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement on the situation in Gaza:
“Israel has every right to self-defense from Iranian-backed terrorists committed to annihilating the State of Israel, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). They must immediately stop their indiscriminate rocket attacks into Israel.
“As I always have, I remain committed to ensuring Israel has the support it needs to protect civilian lives, including through full support of the Iron Dome.
“I offer my condolences to the families of the innocent whose lives have been lost as a result of the escalation in Gaza over the last 24 hours, which is putting at risk the progress made in recent months to increase much-needed humanitarian access to people in need. All efforts should be made to avoid any further civilian loss inside Gaza and ensure the continued provision of humanitarian aid.
“The malicious ideologies attacking Israel undermine U.S. interests in the region and demand our constant vigilance. I greatly appreciate ongoing efforts by the UN and regional partners to find ways to deescalate and reduce tensions. These efforts must continue so that a spiraling and prolonged conflict can be avoided.”