Rep. Ellison (D-MN) made the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Con. Res. 107, a resolution denouncing the use of human shields by Hamas, condemning the United Nations Human Rights Council's inquiry into Gaza operations, and re-asserting Israel's right to defend itself. The resolution was passed by voice vote, not a recorded vote.
"There were several provisions in today's resolution that I did not agree with," Rep. Ellison said. "The resolution improperly condemns the United Nations Human Rights Council for forming a commission to investigate human rights violations. Potential human rights violations by both sides must be investigated. The U.S. Congress should not be in the business of condemning an investigatory process before it has begun. It should be working to make sure the process is fair.
"This resolution also fails to take into account the plight of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the multitude of civilian deaths. Palestinians in Gaza cannot escape injury and death because Gaza is confined and is one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world - a fact the resolution ignores.
"I oppose the rockets being fired into Israel and I oppose the system of tunnels Hamas has built to attack Israelis. Indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel is a war crime and is unjustifiable. I agree that any country facing attack has the right to protect its citizens, but given the population density and the restriction of movement, results show that it is impossible to exert enough care to avoid civilian casualties.
"Finally, I'm concerned that H. Con Res. 107 undermines U.S. diplomatic efforts between Israelis and Palestinians to bring this tragic conflict to an end. There is no military resolution to this conflict. Intensive engagement to establish a cease-fire and an end to the blockade are the first steps towards re-establishing negotiations for a final status agreement."