Dem Sen. Murphy: Hamas Will ‘Continue to Send Rockets Into Israel So Long as Israel Is Knocking Down Buildings Inside Gaza’

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said that the U.S. needs to push for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas despite both sides having a political incentive to avoid negotiations with the understanding that “Hamas is going to continue to send rockets into Israel so long as Israel is knocking down buildings inside Gaza.” Murphy also argued that military offensives by Israel may bring peace in the short run, but in the long run, they just feed “a grievance culture inside the Palestinian communities that guarantees long-term unrest.”

Murphy said that getting a cease-fire is “very difficult when both sides, the Netanyahu government and Hamas, feel that they are getting a political benefit by staying away from the negotiating table.” But he believes the Biden administration should push for a cease-fire, adding, “I just don’t see any benefit to U.S. security or Israeli security to keep this barrage up when Palestinian kids are being killed inside Gaza. That’s not helping to secure Israel in the long run. So, listen, I think the Biden administration is pushing for a cease-fire. I think the reality is that the sort of alignment of politics in the Netanyahu government and the incentive system that Hamas has to keep sending these rockets into Israel makes it difficult for the United States to try to be persuasive here.”

He further stated, “I just think we have to understand right now that the Netanyahu government, for whatever reason, believes that they are better off continuing this campaign and Hamas is going to continue to send rockets into Israel so long as Israel is knocking down buildings inside Gaza.”

Murphy added that Netanyahu believes that “military offensives can secure Israel. I think experience tells us that while it may give you some short-term peace, ultimately, it just feeds a grievance culture inside the Palestinian communities that guarantees long-term unrest. But I also know that there’s no doubt that he is reliant on a coalition that does not support, in many respects, a Palestinian state. And so, when your partners in government are not actually looking for a two-state future, it does dictate some of the decisions that you make.”

Murphy then discussed America’s $735 million arms sale to Israel and said that he isn’t sure refusing the sale is going to work, but “I think we are going to have to use whatever leverage we possess with both the Palestinians and the Israelis to try to get us back on track to a viable Palestinian state. And our first task is to get the cease-fire agreed to, and I think our second job is to try to, once again, reposition ourselves in our historic role as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

 

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