WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, on Sunday released the following statement:

“The scenes in Israel are devastating beyond comprehension, and I fear the situation is only going to get worse in the coming days and weeks. This is an all hands on deck moment in history, and the administration needs a Senate-confirmed American diplomat present in every capital in the region as soon as possible. Right now, we don’t have a U.S. Ambassador in place in Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, or Kuwait. USAID hasn’t had an Assistant Administrator for the Middle East for nearly three years – a role that will be essential to the deployment of emergency economic and humanitarian aid in response to this crisis. The State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism – which leads the Department’s efforts to defeat terrorism abroad – has been awaiting confirmation for nearly two years.

“Now is not the time for politics. The Senate should confirm those awaiting votes the day we are back in session, and immediately schedule committee hearings to expedite confirmation of the remainder. Democrats and Republicans must work together to support our ally Israel.”

The nominees for U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait and the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism await a vote on the Senate floor. The nominees for U.S. Ambassadors to Israel and Egypt, and the USAID Assistant Administrator for the Middle East await committee hearings.

On Saturday, Murphy released a statement on Hamas’ attacks on Israel.