Dem Rep. Connolly: Biden Should Put More Pressure on Israel, They Can Track Down Terrorists ‘Years’ Later

On Friday’s broadcast of CNN International’s “Quest Means Business,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) stated that “There has to be a better way” for Israel to fight Hamas after the October 7 attack and that “Israel is expert at tracking down known terrorists years after an event.”

Host Richard Quest asked, “So, how far would you support the U.S. putting further pressure on Israel? And, we’re all aware, of course, whether it be military, economic, or whatever, that, so far, the screws have not been turned that tight. Do you favor more?”

Connolly responded, “Yes, I do. I believe that what happened after October 7 was not targeted. Israel used dumb bombs. It destroyed two-thirds of all the structures or damaged them in northern Gaza, and is now threatening to do the same in the south, especially around Rafah. 30,000 civilian casualties, if that’s an accurate number, is way too high a price to pay for targeting Hamas terrorists. You can target Hamas, and you have a right to if you’re Israel, but not at the cost of 30,000 civilian lives, and another 60,000 injured. Almost 100,000 Palestinians have either died or been injured by this invasion, that is an unacceptable cost by any light, by any measurement. And particularly, it seems to me, given Israel’s foundational documents and values, it ought to be concerned about that. But if it’s not, we must be. And so, I think more pressure has to be put.”

Quest then asked, “So, how does Israel — the fundamental fear, which I expect you would agree with, is that, in some shape or form, Hamas would — pardon the phrase — live to fight another day, regroup, and be exactly the existential threat to Israel that the Israeli government fears.”

Connolly answered, “And Israel is absolutely in its rights to be concerned about that and to go after Hamas after the terrorist atrocity of October 7. I absolutely believe they have that right, but not this way, creating a catastrophic humanitarian crisis, with 2 million people at risk of starvation and disease and dehydration, losing innocent civilians, children and women and older folks, that’s an unacceptable price to be paid. There has to be a better way. Israel is expert at tracking down known terrorists years after an event. They tracked down the murderers of the Munich Olympics in 1972, systematically, over many years. So, they know how to do it. And they’re doing it as we speak. But you can’t say that tens of thousands of civilian casualties is the necessary price we have to pay, or the Palestinian people have to pay. That’s not acceptable.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.