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Sen. Peter Welch is now calling for 'indefinite cease-fire' in Israel-Hamas war

A photo of a man in glasses and a suit speaking into a microphone and holding up his hand
J. Scott Applewhite
Associated Press File
Sen. Peter Welch is seen in this May 11, 2023 file photo at the Capitol in Washington. On Tuesday, Nov. 28 he became the second member of Vermont's congressional delegation to call for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Sen. Peter Welch is now calling for an "indefinite cease-fire"between Israel and Hamas.

He's the second member of Vermont's congressional delegation to do so. Rep. Becca Balint called for a cease-fire on Nov. 16.

More from Vermont Public: Why Vermont's U.S. Rep. Becca Balint is now calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war

And since last week, the Israel and Hamas have been observing a temporary truce to allow for the exchange of hostages and prisoners. But it could end this week.

Hamas killed more than 1,200 people and took several hundred hostages when the group attacked Israel on Oct. 7. That's according to the Israeli government.

In response, Israel has killedat least 13,300 Palestinians, according to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza.

But since the short cease-fire began on Nov. 24, Welch says it's given him hope.

He also says it's stopped Israel's "indiscriminate" bombing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and has allowed international aid groups to bring in vital humanitarian supplies.

"What the U.N. workers are saying is, that if they don't get sustainable humanitarian aid, then we're going to have more women and children dying of malnutrition, of starvation and of disease," Welch said. "So this pause has really been absolutely essential on saving some of the innocent Palestinian lives who've just been caught in this crossfire."

Welch says it's also essential that any additional U.S. aid for Israel be used only for purposes that "comply with international humanitarian law."

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Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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