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Tlaib asks Biden to save civilians as Israel strikes Gaza

Tlaib asks Biden to save civilians as Israel strikes Gaza
2 min read
Washington, D.C.
15 October, 2023
"It is heartbreaking to witness the blanket disregard for saving civilians—including Americans—in Gaza."
US Representative Rashida Tlaib called on President Biden to save civilians amid continued fighting in Israel and Gaza. [Reuters]

US Representative Rashida Tlaib has called on President Joe Biden's administration to do all it can to save civilians as the Israeli government appears to be taking the steps for a ground war on Gaza.

The Michigan congresswoman, the only Palestinian Muslim in the House, issued a statement on Friday calling for a de-escalation and ceasefire to save civilian lives.

"I am calling for immediate de-escalation and ceasefire to save countless civilian lives, no matter their faith or ethnicity. Our government must lead with compassion for all civilians," the statement reads, notably not singling out a specific group. 

"I believe in my heart that the majority of Americans want the killing and violence to stop. War crimes cannot be answered with war crimes," the statement continues, in what appears to be a reference to Israel's retaliation against Gaza's surprise attack on 7 October.

Since the Hamas attack last Saturday, Biden's focus has been on the loss of Israeli lives and supporting Israel's military assault, despite the devastating toll the strikes have taken on Gaza's civilian population.

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This weekend, he discussed with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu humanitarian aid to Gaza. Nevertheless, the US president's concerns have largely been for the Israelis.

"The Biden Administration is failing in its duty to protect all civilian and American lives in Gaza. I cannot believe I have to beg our country to value every human life, no matter their faith or ethnicity. We cannot lose sight of the humanity in each other," Tlaib's statement concludes.

Tlaib, who faced scrutiny for waiting a day to make a statement about Israel's surprise attack on Gaza on 7 October, has since issued multiple statements criticising US policy in Israel and Palestine. She is also facing repeated calls for her to remove the Palestinian flag from in front of her office door, which she put there in January.