By Matthew Q. Clarida
On a major news day across the world, Capitol Watch got in touch with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who was about to board a plane for Texas, where he plans to tour border detention facilities.
Hours after Israeli forces launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip aimed at stopping rockets fired by Hamas, here’s what Blumenthal told Capitol Watch about his reaction to the invasion.
“The Israelis have no choice but to defend themselves against rocket assault by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, and my hope is that there will be an end soon to the bloodshed on both sides,” Blumenthal said. “Israel was ready to accept a cease fire and Hamas rejected it, which certainly was disappointing, and Israel has been a firm, resolute, profoundly significant ally of the US in one of the most dangerous regions of the world, and it is undertaking a very limited action to stop the assault by Hamas.”
He continued: “The situation is in flux right now. I’ve been briefed as a member of the Armed Services Committee. The Iron Dome [rocket defense system] is offering an effective measure of protection to the Israelis for now but they have to stop the hundreds of rockets that are threatening their children and communities.”
Blumenthal also addressed the situation in Ukraine, where a Malaysian jet was shot down on Thursday.
“Speaking generally, without knowing exactly what, my heart goes out to the families and loved ones,” he said. “I hope responsibility will be assigned accurately and effectively, I’ve called in the past from stronger sanctions against Russia, and I am pleased that the president seems to be moving in that direction.”