Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement today about the ceasefire agreement reached by Israel and Hamas:
"I am encouraged by the agreement reached today to end the violence in Israel and Gaza. No one benefits from the fighting and we mourn the loss of life on both sides. Realizing that much work remains to make the ceasefire last, we continue to recognize our ally Israel's right to self-defense and hope for an end to the Hamas rockets that not only threaten Israelis, but also put Palestinian civilians in danger.
"I applaud President Obama and Secretary Clinton for their diplomatic efforts to help construct this agreement and for their steadfast commitment to Israel's security, which must include efforts to deal with putting an end to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. The United States should do everything we can to use this as an opportunity to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together without preconditions, while recognizing that the only lasting resolution to the conflict will be a peace accord that is thoroughly negotiated by the parties involved."