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Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has labeled Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “textbook war crime” during a speech on the Senate floor.

He referenced reports from the World Food Program and the United Nations Children’s Fund, which detail the dire lack of food access in Gaza amid Israel’s siege against Hamas, leading to child fatalities. “Kids in Gaza are now dying from the deliberate withholding of food,” Van Hollen stated, asserting, “That is a war crime. It is a textbook war crime.”

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Throughout the war between Israel and Hamas, Van Hollen has consistently criticized Israel’s military strategies in Gaza and has expressed concerns over the Biden administration’s approach to the humanitarian impact, urging for a more vocal stance on civilian casualties. “I don’t know if it’s hurting the president with fellow Democrats. I do think it’s important that the president speak out more clearly on this issue,” he said in November, advocating for stronger presidential action in response to the crisis.

Van Hollen’s recent comments call for immediate action from President Biden to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to permit the entry of food, water, and essential supplies into Gaza to alleviate the suffering. He emphasizes the need to ensure these supplies reach those in desperate need, particularly children. Additionally, Van Hollen is advocating for legislation that would condition US aid to Israel on the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza, stating, “American taxpayer dollars should be used in line with our values and our interests.”

Another view: 
Despite the criticism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed back on accusations of Israeli committing war crimes in Gaza. He has referred to the accusations as “hypocrisy and lies.”


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