Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.
Driving the news: In the first bipartisan call for a ceasefire, Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined its Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.
- "As a result of Hamas' rocket attacks and Israel's response, both sides must recognize that too many lives have been lost and must not escalate the conflict further," they added.
Of note: Murphy also added his name to a separate statement with 27 other Democrats, led by Sen. Jon Ossoff (Ga.), saying: "To prevent any further loss of civilian life and to prevent further escalation of conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories, we urge an immediate ceasefire."
Joint Statement Urging Ceasefire in Middle East pic.twitter.com/nkTNFqH7re— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) May 16, 2021
The big picture: The lawmakers calls come as the United Nations Security Council held a meeting to discuss the violence that has killed over 180 Palestinians and 10 Israelis since fighting began last Monday.
- Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, told the virtual meeting that the Biden administration had "made clear" to both sides that it would provide assistance "should the parties seek a ceasefire," per Reuters.