Dozens of White House interns sent a letter late Tuesday urging President Joe Biden to demand a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, echoing the calls of a growing number of lawmakers, congressional staffers, administration officials, and ordinary Americans.
“We heed the voices of the American people and call on the administration to demand a permanent cease-fire,” reads the letter, which is signed “40+ White House & [Executive Office of the President] Interns for Palestine.”
“We are not the decision-makers of today, but we aspire to be the leaders of tomorrow, and we will never forget how the pleas of the American people have been heard and thus far, ignored,” continues the letter, which was first reported by NBC News.
The interns’ letter was made public hours after a Data for Progress survey showed that 61% of U.S. voters — including 76% of Democrats — want the Biden administration to call for a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, which is facing a devastating humanitarian crisis as Israel continues its bombardment of the territory and expands its ground offensive to the south after decimating much of the north.
While the Biden administration supported the temporary pause that ended last week, it has claimed that a permanent cease-fire would be a gift to Hamas, which carried out a deadly attack on southern Israel in early October.
Administration officials in recent days have pushed Israel to protect civilians in Gaza, but there’s no evidence that the Israeli military has changed its indiscriminate approach. Early Tuesday, an Israeli airstrike reportedly hit a school housing displaced Gazans — killing at least 20 people — as Israeli forces invaded Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
“The pulverizing of Gaza now ranks amongst the worst assaults on any civilian population in our time and age,” Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said Tuesday. “Each day we see more dead children and new depths of suffering for the innocent people enduring this hell.”
The White House interns, who did not sign their names to the letter likely out of fear of retaliation, expressed their horror at both the “brutal October 7th Hamas attack on Israeli civilians” and “the brutal and genocidal response by the Israeli government, funded by our tax dollars.”
An Amnesty International investigation released earlier Tuesday found that the Israeli military used U.S.-made munitions to carry out airstrikes on two homes in Gaza in October, killing more than 40 members of two families — including 19 children.
“We urge the Biden-Harris administration to call for a permanent cease-fire now, a release of all hostages including Palestinian political prisoners, and to support a diplomatic solution that will put an end to the illegal occupation and the Israeli apartheid, in accordance with international law and for a free Palestine,” the White House interns wrote.
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