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 Thursday released the following statement after more than 100 Palestinians were killed on Thursday morning during a delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza City:

“The death of innocent civilians seeking desperately needed food aid is completely unacceptable. While the details are still emerging, it is clear that more than 100 Palestinians in Gaza City were either shot by Israeli soldiers or trampled to death in the chaos. This situation is a result of the complete breakdown in social order in Gaza, which is spiraling out of control without a massive influx of humanitarian aid and a pause in the fighting.

“To be clear, Hamas started this war and could end it tomorrow by releasing the hostages and surrendering those responsible for the October 7th attacks. However, the appalling scenes from Gaza City today and the staggering civilian death toll that has already occurred in Gaza are not in Israel’s nor the United States’ interest, and they necessitate an urgent change in course. Israel should immediately pause military operations for a period of time necessary to get this humanitarian nightmare under control, and I would urge President Biden to use all available leverage to press Israel and those who speak to Hamas to urgently reach an agreement to secure a longer-term cessation of hostilities.”