Washington, Dec 4 (IANS): Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has reiterated her call for a ceasefire in Gaza as fighting has resumed in the Hamas-controlled enclave following the collapse of a seven-day humanitarian truce.
“It’s what has to happen, and I do think it’s realistic,” Jayapal told CNN on Sunday
“We did have a temporary ceasefire and what happened? We were able to see a significant number of hostages released, we were able to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, and I think the long-term plan for what happens is incredibly important,” she added.
When asked if she thought that Hamas would be willing to comply with a longer ceasefire, Jayapal called the situation “very complicated”.
“We don’t have all of the information in front of us, we obviously can rely on statements that are made, but I think that in these negotiations, everybody wants something,” she told CNN.
“I think Qatar has said that Hamas is still at the table, Israel should still be at the table. In fact, some of the hostages, the Israeli hostages, are saying that Israel should still be at the table.
"It doesn’t happen unless both sides are willing to come to some kind of an agreement, that’s how we got the first seven days," the Congresswoman added.
Jayapal is among the Indian-American lawmakers who have consistently called for a cessation of hostilities, extended truce for smooth flow of aid, swift release of hostages, removal of Hamas and a lasting solution to the raging war in Gaza.
Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera has said that there was a :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".
Congressman Shri Thanedar has expressed his "sincere desire that the conflict ends soon with the removal of Hamas, and we are able to move forward to a place of stable coexistence".
Meanwhile, Congressman Ro Khanna called the crimes carried out by Hamas against Israeli women and children "inhuman" and "appalling" and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said "the US unequivocally stands with the people of Israel against this gruesome terror attack, and strongly supports its right to defend itself".
Earlier,Jayapal had also called for building an international coalition that could eradicate Hamas and allow new legitimate leadership to emerge for the true governance of Palestinians.
The Indian-American Congresswoman's remarks came as Israel has been bombarding Gaza since combat operations resumed on December 1 following the collapse of the seven-day humanitarian truce which was implemented on November 24.
On Sunday night, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that it was expanding its ground operations to the whole of the Gaza Strip.
Between December 2 and 3, at least 316 people were killed and 664 others injured in Gaza, says the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health.
The overall death toll in Gaza since the war erupted on October 7 has increased to 15,523 as of Monday morning.
According to the Ministry, 70 per cent of the total figure comprises women and children.
Meanwhile, 77 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the start of the ground operations on October 7.
In Israel, the casualty toll remains more than 1,200, including foreign nationals.