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US congressman implores Biden to broker Israel-Palestine cease-fire

US congressman Jamaal Bowman urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to immediately work to de-escalate tensions in East Jerusalem and broker a cease-fire, Anadolu Agency reported.

“With regard to the quickly escalating tensions in East Jerusalem, the United States must step in and rapidly broker a ceasefire to de-escalate and bring us closer to a two-state solution,” the freshman Democratic lawmaker said in a statement.

“The very name Jerusalem means City of Peace. Violently evicting families from their homes in which generations have lived is not an act of peace. A show of strong force during prayer is not an act of peace. Destroying holy sites is not an act of peace. Hamas rocket attacks are not an act of peace. Israeli government airstrikes are not an act of peace,” he added.

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israeli authorities have harassed Palestinian worshippers and attacked worshippers in the midst of prayers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest in Islam, and have threatened to evict dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

Tension spread from East Jerusalem to the Gaza Strip after Palestinian groups in Gaza vowed to retaliate for the raids on Al-Aqsa, and potential resident removals in Sheikh Jarrah.

Israeli forces take a Palestinian woman into custody during a demonstration at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood after Israeli government’s plan to force some Palestinian families out of their homes in East Jerusalem on May 05, 2021 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

As of late Tuesday, Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed 30 Palestinians, including nine children, and injured 152 others.

Bowman said it is “imperative” the Biden administration take an “even handed approach” to the situation, and “ensure our nation is not complicit in stoking the flames of conflict through continued settlement expansion and home demolitions that undermine the two-state solution, perpetuate endless occupation, and threaten the long-term security of both Israelis and Palestinians.”