Home Senators express concern for U.S. national security with escalated violence in West Bank

Senators express concern for U.S. national security with escalated violence in West Bank

Rebecca Barnabi
(© Sean Gladwell – stock.adobe.com)

Lawmakers sent a letter to President Joe Biden last week regarding increased violence by Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

The letter stresses the importance of stability in the West Bank for national security in the United States.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, of Virginia joined U.S. Sens. John Ossoff of Georgia, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland in the letter.

On October 29, the United Nations warned of escalations in the West Bank, and reports continue to warn about the destabilizing potential of the violence in the region.

“As Israel confronts the atrocities of the October 7 Hamas attacks, and threats in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is crucial that U.S. and Israeli policy reinforce the stability and security of the West Bank,” the senators wrote. “If additional action to prevent these violent settler activities is not taken, we worry that civilians and U.S. national security interests will suffer grave harm.”

Following the October 7 attacks, Warner and Kaine condemned the assault. In the days following, Warner and Kaine took a series of steps to ensure that the Biden Administration addresses emergency needs in Gaza, curbs crypto-financed terrorism, and continues supporting the release of American hostages throughout this crisis. Earlier this month, Warner and Kaine also called for a short-term cessation of violence in order to ensure assistance is reaching Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

“We are encouraged by recent statements from the White House emphasizing the need to mitigate settler violence. We also note the vital role that the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC) is playing to manage risk in the area,” the letter continues. “However, more must be done. We urge your administration to enhance its diplomatic efforts to prevent further violence and respectfully request a briefing from your administration on current policy to address incidents of extremist settler violence and the forcible displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.