Mike Gravel, a former US Democratic Senator from Alaska, who announced his 2020 presidential bid last month, has weighed in on the recent exchange of fire between Israelis and Palestinians over the weekend.
In a tweet, which followed reports of a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel, the 88-year-old accused Israel of being a “racist regime committed to annexation and gradual ethnic cleansing”.
The bloodshed in Palestine and Israel will not cease until the fundamentally unjust existing structure is jettisoned. We cannot support a right-wing racist regime committed to annexation and gradual ethnic cleansing. There must be a binational state with equal rights for all.— Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) 6 мая 2019 г.
Unlike Gravel, three other Democrats, also running for president, sided with Israel, while others refrained from comments. For instance, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper took to Twitter to say that “the random rocket fire by Hamas into Israel must stop”:
The random rocket fire by Hamas into Israel must stop. My heart goes out to the families of the Israelis killed, and those wounded in these grievous attacks. I call on all parties to show restraint and de-escalate this situation immediately.— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) 6 мая 2019 г.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker told CBS News that “we support Israel’s right to defend itself, full stop”.
“You have a terrorist organisation that actually suppresses its own people, conducts acts of violence and human rights violations against people who live in Gaza. And so Israel has a right to defend itself and it should do that”, Booker continued.
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet joined Booker in backing Israel’s “right to self-defence against terror groups inside Gaza”.
Since Saturday, Israeli forces have reportedly hit hundreds of targets in Gaza.
Reuters reported on Monday that the two sides had reached an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement after two days of fighting.
According to media reports, at least 25 Palestinians died and another 125 were injured, WAFA news reported, citing the Gaza Health Ministry. As a result of the attacks, four people died in Israel, while at least 10 others were wounded by shrapnel from rockets, missiles, and mortar shells from Gaza, The Times of Israel reported.