Markey supports aid for Israel while calling for deescalation in war with Hamas

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Sen. Ed Markey said he still supports President Biden’s call for a deescalation in the Israel-Hamas war before it spirals into a wider conflict.

His comments, made on WBUR’s Radio Boston, come days after a drone and missile strike on Israel by Iran. Almost all of the ordinance fired toward Israel was shot down by U.S and Israeli countermeasures, causing little civilian casualties or damage to infrastructure, according to Israel Defense Forces, though a Bedouin girl was seriously injured by shrapnel. Israel, the U.S. and several other nations have condemned the attack.

“We’re at a pivotal point right now that we have to make sure it does not lead to escalation in the region,” Markey said.

This is the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Saturday attack was in response to a suspected Israeli strike two weeks earlier on an Iranian consular building in the Syrian capital of Damascus that killed two Iranian generals.

Markey has voted to provide continued U.S. assistance to Israel, which was part of a foreign aid package that included funding for Ukraine, Taiwan and other international priorities. And he rejected House Speaker Mike Johnson’s plan to break up that bill into constituent parts. Johnson has faced considerable opposition to the bill from far-right members of the Republican caucus, including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“He cannot punt that problem over to the Senate,” Markey said, adding, “we are not going to be responding to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s desire to turn this into a circus.”

While speaking with Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing, Markey also spoke about local issues, including Steward Health Care System’s ongoing financial crisis and the need to tear down the Mass. Pike aqueduct in Allston and replace it with a “street-level” solution.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

This segment aired on April 16, 2024.

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