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 on the recent escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence:  

“I am increasingly concerned by the widening conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Just days ago, Hamas and its allies escalated this conflict by indiscriminately launching rockets at civilian areas in Israel. These terrorist attacks provoked retaliatory air strikes on Gaza that cost more than 100 lives. I remain deeply concerned about a ground invasion of Gaza. We know that civilians would unfortunately bear the brunt of a ground war, and hundreds if not thousands of people may die,” said Murphy. “Ground operations will not stop the rockets falling on Israel, or solve the fundamental security challenges that Israel faces. Only a ceasefire in the short-term, and a real path to a viable two-state future in the long-term can do that. Right now, mediators are in Israel and Gaza seeking to deescalate the situation. I encourage all sides to agree to a ceasefire as quickly as possible to avert further tragedy and save innocent civilian lives.”