Rep. Rashida Tlaib speaks out on violence in Gaza, calling for an end to 'apartheid' and US funding of Israel

Rashida Tlaib
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  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib released a statement mourning the loss of lives in Gaza and Israel.

  • The Palestinian-American Congresswoman also asked for an end to "the occupation" of Palestine.

  • Hundreds of people in Israel and Palestine have died as of Sunday.

Amid an escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, Representative Rashida Tlaib — the only Palestinian-American member of Congress — called for an end to US support for Israel.

Tlaib — a vocal critic of Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territory — posted a statement on Instagram grieving the "Palestinian and Israeli lives lost yesterday, today, and every day."

Tlaib's statement struck a different tone than those of fellow Congressional Progressive Caucus members like Bernie Sanders by referring to the current human rights situation in the Palestinian territories. Organizations, including the United Nations, have signaled for years that Israel's actions in the area — including forced evictions and police killings — amount to war crimes.

"The path to that future must include lifting the blockade, ending the occupation, and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance," Tlaib wrote in her statement.

Tlaib continued: "The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation, and apartheid makes no one safer. No person, no child anywhere should have to suffer or live in fear of violence."

Since being elected in 2018, Tlaib has used her platform to highlight Palestinian issues and rally support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions — or BDS — movement against Israel.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally declared war on Palestinian militant group Hamas following a surprise attack on Saturday from Gaza. Israel responded to the attack by bombarding the strip with airstrikes and cutting power to the area.

The Israeli government also declared its intention to take control of Gaza.

Israeli authorities say at least 700 people have been killed and 1,500 wounded by Hamas' strikes this weekend, with some taken hostage. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports 313 people have been killed and 2,000 injured by Israeli counter-strikes.

Representatives for Tlaib did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider