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Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Chief Deputy Whip, and Budget Committee Ranking Member Rep. John Yarmuth, issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s recent actions regarding Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank:

“We are distressed by the Trump Administration’s recent actions regarding Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. The decisions to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) mission to the United States, rescind $200 million of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank, cut $25 million of US funding to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, and permanently cut all United States funding to UNWRA (the Palestinian refugee agency), are unproductive and harmful for Israelis and Palestinians. Denying basic necessities to the people of Gaza and shutting down the PLO office will not force the Palestinians to the negotiating table. This only makes achieving a permanent peace agreement more difficult.

“A viable two-state solution is the only feasible path to ensure a Jewish and democratic Israel, and peace, security and economic prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians.  These outcomes will not be reached by denying Gazans and Palestinians on the West Bank access to food, water, health care, or employment.  This policy is opposed by many Israeli voices, including security experts who believe it will exacerbate – not reduce – the violence that threatens their nation.

“The Trump Administration has consistently failed to take constructive actions to achieve peace and stability for Israelis and Palestinians. They have failed to endorse a two-state solution, and unilaterally and provocatively claimed to have taken the final status issues of Jerusalem and refugees “off the table.” They have also failed to voice disapproval of the Israeli Government’s announced demolition of Palestinian villages, like Susiya and Khan Al-Ahmar. These actions render the United States unable to act in a productive leadership role in resolving the conflict, thus dramatically reducing Israeli security, increase Palestinian hostility and suffering, and further destabilize an already volatile region.”

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