House passes pro-Israel Gaza resolution


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for a Gaza Strip cease-fire on Israel’s terms.

The resolution passed 390-5 on Friday "encourages the Administration to work actively to support a durable and sustainable cease-fire in Gaza, as soon as possible, that prevents Hamas from retaining or rebuilding its terrorist infrastructure, including the capability to launch rockets and mortars against Israel, and thereby allowing for the long-term improvement of daily living conditions for the people of Gaza." Israel has made an end to rocket fire its bottom line for a cease-fire.

The non-binding resolution, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), its ranking member, echoes a similar resolution passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.

Both resolutions nods toward concerns about the Gaza war expressed by Democrats and by dovish pro-Israel group, hence the reference to urging a cease-fire "as soon as possible" and a passage that "believes strongly that the lives of innocent civilians must be protected to the maximum extent possible, expresses condolences to innocent Palestinian and Israeli victims and their families, and reiterates that humanitarian needs in Gaza should be addressed promptly and responsibly."

The measure was strongly backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Israel launched major operations on Dec. 27, about two weeks after Hamas terrorists controlling Gaza ended a fragile cease-fire with a massive intensification of rocket attacks on Israel’s south.

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