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Former Republican congressman alarmed by ‘horrific’ killing of civilians in Gaza

Former Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash on Friday called the destruction of Gaza by Israeli forces “horrible” and sounded the alarm over the killings of civilians in the region.

On October 7, Hamas carried out the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in history against Israel. Israel then launched its heaviest airstrikes in its history on Gaza. According to Israeli officials, 1,400 people were killed in Israel on Saturday, the Associated Press reported, while more than 7,700 Palestinians died, according to Gaza Health Ministry officials, according to the AP. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was “at war” and had cut off supplies of food, fuel, electricity and medicine to Gaza.

Amash, a Palestinian-American who left the Republican Party during his final years in office, shared on X, formerly Twitter, the fear his loved ones in Gaza are feeling amid Israeli airstrikes.

“The continued destruction of Gaza is horrific. Countless innocent civilians are being killed or seriously injured,” the former congressman wrote. “My Orthodox Christian relatives had nothing to do with terrorism, but they were not spared from death, pain and sorrow.”

Palestinians search the destroyed annex of the Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church, damaged during a strike on Gaza City on October 20. Former Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan on Friday called the destruction of Gaza by Israeli forces “horrible” and sounded the alarm. civilians in the region.
Dawood Nemer/AFP via Getty Images

Amash also wrote that it was difficult to communicate with loved ones.

“When I spoke with a family member a few days ago, I heard the blast of an airstrike near the church and the fear in his voice. He hadn’t slept in days . Young parents woke up surprised, terrified of not surviving.” he posted. “Now we can’t even communicate with any of them.”

Israeli airstrikes knocked out internet and communications in Gaza on Friday. Israel’s continued bombardment on Saturday disrupted ambulances and humanitarian groups in the area, the AP reported.

“Children make up about half of Gaza’s population. Of those lucky enough to survive Israeli bombardment, many will remain forever traumatized and resentful,” Amash wrote in his Friday X message. is not a viable path for Palestinians or Israelis hoping for a peaceful future.”

Amash served Michigan’s 3rd congressional district in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2021. He was part of the Republican Party until 2019, when he became an independent and joined the Libertarian Party the following year.

Meanwhile, the former congressman has already lost his family to the war between Israel and Hamas.

He wrote in an October 20 article on X that several of his relatives were killed when the Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church in Gaza City, where his family was sheltering, was hit by a nighttime airstrike. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) previously confirmed News week that she was responsible for the damage to the church and added that she “can unequivocally state that the church was not the target of the strike.”

Amash shared a photo of two of his relatives, Viola and Yara, who he said were killed. “Give rest, Lord, to their souls, and may their memories be eternal,” he wrote. “The Palestinian Christian community has endured so much. Our family is suffering greatly. May God watch over all Christians in Gaza – and all suffering Israelis and Palestinians, regardless of their religion or beliefs.”

News week contacted Amash by email for comment.

Amash was the first Palestinian-American to represent his state in Congress. Rashida Tlaib, a current representative from Michigan and the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress, offered her condolences to Amash, commenting on his X-rated post: “I’m so sorry Justin.”

Tlaib has recently come under scrutiny for criticizing Israel’s response to the Hamas attack and President Joe Biden’s support for Israel. The Democratic congresswoman called for de-escalation in Gaza and joined a Jewish-led pro-Palestinian protest that demanded lawmakers call for a ceasefire on Oct. 18 at the Cannon House office building , at the Capitol.

Republican Party Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia introduced a resolution in the House on Thursday to censure Tlaib, which Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Jewish Democrat from Florida, urged Congress to consider.

The resolution says Tlaib is blamed for “anti-Semitic activity, sympathy with terrorist organizations, and leading an insurrection at the United States Capitol complex.” Greene was referring to the Oct. 18 protest Tlaib participated in, which was not an insurrection. A Capitol Police spokesperson previously said News week that the event was “generally a peaceful protest”.

Tlaib called Greene’s resolution “unbalanced” and “deeply Islamophobic” in a post Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, Rep. Becca Balint, a freshman Democrat from Vermont, introduced a resolution Thursday to censure Greene who Balint said has “repeatedly fanned the flames of racism, anti-Semitism, LGBTQ hate speech , Islamophobia, anti-Asian hatred, xenophobia and other forms.” of hatred.”