Illinois’ Senators Durbin and Kirk disagree on Gaza Crisis

By Richard Holton on July 30 at 7:15am

Illinois’ two senators show no signs of agreeing on how the U.S. should handle the Gaza crisis.

With the situation in the Gaza Strip showing no signs of slowing, and as the death toll rises into the thousands, the US State Department has been careful to focus on both negotiating a ceasefire, and standing firm with Israel. But Illinois’ two senators disagree on stopping the conflict in the first place.

Dick Durbin acknowledges the difficulty in setting up talks between Israel and Hamas, the organization labeled a terrorist group by the US that controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas has not recognized Israel’s right to exist and Israel labeled Hamas a terrorist organization.

Even with these hurdles, Durbin still believes that peace is possible.

“Listen I’m praying for a ceasefire. Israel, after being the target for 2,000 rockets fired from Gaza retaliated to try to stop the rocket fire. The retaliation has claimed innocent lives. Children, innocent people have died as a result of it,” Durbin says.

Mark Kirk, however, is against a ceasefire being negotiated, saying that tragedies, such as the number of Palestinian civilians being killed, is a result of a war that Hamas started.

Kirk said, “There should not be a ceasefire. Since Hamas picked a fight with the most competent military in the Middle East, we should allow them to lose that fight.”

The sides had agreed to a temporary ceasefire Sunday, but that fell through when the Israeli military resumed combat operations after multiple rockets were fired from inside Gaza. Since the conflict began three weeks ago, more than 1-thousand Palestinians and over 40 Israelis have been killed.