More than 500 federal officials have signed a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to seek a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
The latest and most significant push within the Biden administration against its own foreign policy came from employees of more than 40 federal agencies, the majority of whom are political appointees, The New York Times reported. The letter calls on Biden to push for a cease-fire and pressure Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.
“We call on President Biden to urgently demand a cease-fire; and to call for de-escalation of the current conflict by securing the immediate release of the Israeli hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians; the restoration of water, fuel, electricity, and other basic services; and the passage of adequate humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” reads the letter, which was first obtained by The New York Times.
Biden has faced pressure from within his administration on several occasions to de-escalate the war in Gaza. Three internal memos were sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken from dozens of State Department employees urging a cease-fire, and more than 1,000 U.S. Agency for International Development employees signed an open letter to President Biden demanding the same.
The president, along with his senior officials and the Israeli government, countered that a cease-fire would give the terrorist organization Hamas time to prepare for future attacks. Instead, the Biden administration has called for short “pauses” in Israeli military operations to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.
About 1,200 Israelis were killed in the initial Hamas terrorist attacks, which included the killing of families in their homes. Another 200 were kidnapped and taken hostage in Gaza, including some U.S. citizens.
The Gaza health ministry claims more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in counter-attacks conducted by Israel.
“The overwhelming majority of Americans support a cease-fire,” the letter claims. “Furthermore, Americans do not want the U.S. military to be drawn into another costly and senseless war in the Middle East.”
An October poll linked in the letter found that 66% of Americans allegedly back a cease-fire.