As President Biden visits Israel, Oxfam America’s President and CEO Abby Maxman said:


“President Biden’s visit to Israel comes amidst a backdrop of grave violence in Israel and Gaza. Oxfam unequivocally condemns the heinous acts Hamas inflicted upon Israeli citizens, and our plea is for an end to the spiraling cycle of bloodshed. The Biden administration as well as Oxfam have joined widespread calls for the immediate and safe release of the Israeli hostages that include children and the elderly. This is an important moment for President Biden to demonstrate the solidarity of the United States with Israelis whose loved ones lost their lives or were abducted.

“President Biden’s visit also comes as the government of Israel continues to cut off food, electricity, and most water to Gaza as its airstrikes devastate residential neighborhoods and critical infrastructure. Now it is contemplating an even broader military operation that could cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of lives. As President Biden starts his visit, a hospital was hit in Gaza, killing hundreds of people and injuring many more who have nowhere else to go to receive care. Food, safe shelter, and medical care are already out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. None of Gaza’s more than 2.3 million residents are safe.

“The US government has been working to open humanitarian access, particularly in the past few days as agreements on humanitarian aid have started to take shape. But as the crisis spirals out of control, this is no time for empty diplomatic statements without concrete steps to save lives. President Biden must ensure serious and credible commitments to unimpeded access for humanitarian aid in Gaza, including food, water, electricity and fuel. He must help immediately de-escalate this dangerous situation; failing to do so will unwittingly place an American seal of approval on the suffering that is sure to only deepen.

“Israel has the right to defend its people from attacks and has the obligation to protect civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory under international humanitarian law. The kind of long-term, sustainable solution that does justice to both Palestinians and Israelis will not be forged in the kind of conflict that claims so many daughters, sons, and grandparents. Now is the time to pull back from the brink. Now is the time for a ceasefire, and we are counting on US leadership to achieve just that.”


Notes to editors:

As new information emerges, we have updated our language about the explosion at Al Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza as of 10/19.

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Lauren Hartnett
Humanitarian Media Lead
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