Ellison’s complete statement:
I am deeply concerned about the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. I urge both sides to practice restraint and take immediate action to reduce hostilities. I have been to Sderot, Israel and the Gaza Strip, and conditions for ordinary people are horrific on both sides of the Gaza-Israel border. Israelis endure relentless rocket attacks fired at innocent Israeli citizens in violation of international law. At the same time, Gazans, 57% of whom are under 18, live in extreme isolation, limited access, and deprivation of nearly everything including food, building materials, and water. Combatants on both sides of the conflicts must begin to address the root causes of this conflict through a real peace process. Military escalation will not resolve this—just as the 2008-2009 conflict in Gaza did not end hostilities. I join Noam Shalit, the father of former Hamas prisoner and Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in calling for talks between the parties to resolve this crisis. Talks in the past helped to secure the release of Gilad Shalit and thousands of Palestinian detainees. Dialogue and negotiation can help save lives now.