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New Hampshire's senators differ on a pause in fighting in Gaza

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s two U.S Senators are parting ways when it comes to calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was among 13 Democratic senators to sign onto a statement last week calling for a “short-term cessation” of fighting in Gaza.

The senators called Hamas attack on Israel “horrific” but said that it cannot be ascribed to all Palestinian residents of Gaza, who “have often been victimized by Hamas.”

“Based on the consensus opinion of U.S. and international aid officials it is nearly impossible to deliver sufficient humanitarian aid to protect civilian life in current conditions,” the statement notes.

“Thus we join, President Biden in his call for a short-term cessation of hostility that pose high risk to civilians.”’

In an interview with WMUR Sunday, Shaheen condemned Hamas’ attack on Israel as barbarous, but said, "we need to see a pause in the fighting so we can let people out, so that we can let humanitarian aid in, and so we can help those Palestinians who are caught in the middle.”

The White House says President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked Monday about pausing strikes on Gaza to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and possible hostage releases.

Sen. Maggie Hassan says she also wants more humanitarian aid to flow to Gaza, but said she didn’t choose to join her other Senators — a list that includes not just Shaheen, but also Massachusetts senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Peter Welch, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, and Sen Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — because there are “multiple issues at play.”

“Israel has a right to defend itself. Israel has a right to negotiate to get hostages back,” Hassan told reporters in Manchester on Monday. “I will continue to push for more humanitarian aid, but also for Hamas to release hostages and take other measures to help bring security and safety to the people of Israel,” she said.

A White House spokesman told reporters that insufficient aid is reaching Gaza, noting that fewer than 30 aid trucks entered Gaza in the last 24 hours.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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