Lankford On Latest Developments In Israel, Hamas War

There are signs that Israel and Hamas may be close to accepting President Biden’s bold proposal to end the fighting in Gaza, a comprehensive three-stage peace plan that was overwhelmingly endorsed Monday by the United Nations Security Council.

Tuesday, June 11th 2024, 6:03 pm

By: News 9, Alex Cameron


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There's nothing official yet, but there are signs that Israel and Hamas may be close to accepting President Biden’s bold proposal to end the fighting in Gaza, a comprehensive three-stage peace plan that was overwhelmingly endorsed Monday by the United Nations Security Council.

Congress is paying close attention to these developments, primarily for reasons of national security and humanitarian concern, but also because the conflict and how various aspects of it have been handled have become political wedge issues.

"Everything right now based around this is politicized," said Oklahoma Senator James Lankford.

Senator Lankford (R-Okla.) says that it helps neither Israel nor the United States. He says the focus needs to be on the basic tenets of Biden's proposal: getting the remaining hostages released, a cessation of hostilities, and figuring out governance in Gaza moving forward.

"And...that’s not Israel running Gaza," Lankford insisted, "the Gazan people need to be able to do that, but it also can’t be Hamas that’s running it."

In the wake of the UN Security Council's backing of the Biden ceasefire proposal Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly assured Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he was committed to the plan, leaving it up to Hamas.

"It is on Hamas to move forward with this proposal or not," Secretary Blinken stated plainly.

Hamas officials on Tuesday, according to reports, signaled they are ready to talk, but Lankford warns that it follows a familiar pattern and doesn't mean a deal is imminent.

"They will say we need to be able to talk more," Lankford explained, "but the issue is they want to be able to remain in power at the end of it."

And that, says Senator Lankford, is a non-starter for both Israel and the United States.

Meanwhile, political differences have so far kept Congress from agreeing on how to express its disapproval of the International Criminal Court's decision to issue arrest warrants for both Hamas leaders and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Lankford says this should be a non-partisan issue

"When the International Criminal Court does an equivalency between Hamas terrorists and Netanyahu and the leadership of Israel, in saying those two are equivalent,” said Lankford, "they are not equivalent."

Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently scheduled to address Congress on July 24, a speech that is already generating a very political response. Numerous progressive Democrats who disagree with his policies are already vowing not to attend.

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