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Palestinians have a right to life of peace, dignity: Congressman Ami Bera

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera has called for immediate cessation of military operations in Gaza in order to get needed humanitarian aid, food, water and medicine to struggling civilians.

Gaza city and northern Gaza have been “largely cut off” from the rest of the Hamas-controlled enclave as a result of the Israeli ground operations, hampering the delivery of humanitarian aid to some 300,000 internally displaced people in the north, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In a poignant video message posted on X on Saturday, Bera said that while he “firmly believes” that Israel has the right to exist and defend itself, so do “innocent Palestinians who have a right to a life of peace and dignity”.

“We need an immediate pause in order to get needed humanitarian aid, food, water and medicine to struggling civilians; then we need to find a different path forward,” Bera said, after speaking to the Palestinians and Jews in his constituency.

The Congressman said he hoped to see Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace, which can only happen if innocent Israelis and Palestinians are not killed.

In addition, Bera, along with Congressman Andy Kim, is leading 89 colleagues in demanding the US Congress to immediately pass the President’s request for Fiscal Year 2024 emergency supplemental funding.

This includes aid for the United States Agency for International Development’s International Disaster Assistance account to meet rising humanitarian needs around the world including those related to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

As a result of the ongoing conflict, more than two million people are in urgent need of lifesaving humanitarian assistance, Bera and others wrote in a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Mike Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Over one million people have fled the violence, stretching the already strained ability of the UN and humanitarian partners on the ground to provide food, medical treatment, and shelter to those in need.

The letter stated that 374 trucks, carrying essential supplies have crossed into Gaza from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing, which is just a “fraction of what is needed to meet the needs posed by the current crisis”.

The UN OCHA)reported that on Wednesday 10 trucks carrying water, food and medicines entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, bringing the total number of aid trucks allowed in since October 21, to 227.

Even as the Israel-Hamas war entered its 29th day on Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that there would be no ceasefire until all the hostages are released.

According to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza, at least 9,257 Palestinians have been killed, including 3,826 children since October 7, while the number of injured persons stood at 22,911.

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