The Jordanian ambassador to the US has added his voice to calls for a ceasefire in the Middle East. Dina Kawar said an immediate cessation of military operations was the “only way forward to stop this war and to sit around the table and go back to negotiation.”
He told Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation that Americans did not see the impact of Israel’s incursion into the Gaza Strip, saying, “The images are flabbergasting, and very, very sad.” He furthermore argued that most of today’s Hamas fighters were orphaned as children and that Israel, in creating more orphans, is creating more Hamas fighters.
The warring sides recently agreed to a combat lull so that Israeli civilian hostages could be released in exchange for Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons for terrorism offenses.
The four-day ceasefire was extended on November 28, but Israel said the conflict is not over, and it is still determined to eliminate Hamas. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) said it would use the time to “learn, strengthen our readiness and approve future operational plans.”
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi credited Israel’s military pressure with the hostage release and said the return of civilians was a “bright light for us all.”
On Capitol Hill, twenty-four Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called on President Biden to urge Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the conflict. A statement signed by Representatives including Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, and Rashida Tlaib called for an end to “grave violations against children” and warned that the United States could be drawn into a “dangerous and unwise conflict with armed groups across the Middle East.”
President Biden has resisted demands to advocate a ceasefire and, during a speech in mid-November, offered no apologies for his stance. He said the IDF knows it must avoid civilian casualties as much as possible before adding, “Hamas has already said publicly that they plan on attacking Israel again like they did before.”