Hank Johnson Asks Israeli Government to Enter the Gaza Strip
Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) wants to go to the Gaza Strip and he, along with Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Dan Kildee (D-MI), called on the Israeli government to permit them to enter the Palestinian region. The three Congressmen, all of whom visited Israel in 2016 but were denied the opportunity to cross into the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration, expressed shock and dismay at “the lethal force used by Israeli troops against mostly unarmed protesters demonstrating at Gaza’s border” during Monday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. They called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to “show utmost restraint, allow for unfettered medical attention for those who have been wounded, and ease the 12-year blockade on Gaza, which has contributed to grave food insecurity, unemployment and a humanitarian crisis for Gaza’s two million inhabitants.” In a letter to Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, the lawmakers noted that the past denial of entry had “obstructed” them in their “obligation to exercise oversight over US tax dollars.” They concluded the letter with a clear ask. “Given the current situation in Gaza, our attention is required now more than ever,” they wrote. “We can think of no reason to deny us access to Gaza again, short of making sure that outside officials not see the worsening conditions. With that, we respectfully request that the Israeli government expedite and approve our request to enter the Gaza Strip for the purpose of observing and evaluating the U.S.-financed humanitarian work.” More here.