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Schiff: Biden administration needs to 'push harder' to stop violence in Mideast

Schiff: Biden administration needs to 'push harder' to stop violence in Mideast
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffLawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cybersecurity during summit with Putin GOP's Stefanik defends Trump DOJ secret subpoenas The Hill's Morning Report - Biden on Putin: 'a worthy adversary' MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday called on the Biden administration to “push harder” on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to stop the violence in the Mideast, as clashes between the country's forces and Hamas militants escalates.

“I think we need to do everything possible to bring about a ceasefire. I think the administration needs to push harder on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to stop the violence, bring about a ceasefire, end these hostilities, and get back to a process of trying to resolve this long standing conflict,” Schiff told host John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Schiff called the violence between Israel and Hamas a “terrible tragedy,” adding that “the loss of life is just deplorable.”

“Every rocket that Hamas sends into Israel is a deliberate effort to kill civilians. And I think we need to understand that these rockets are indiscriminate, and by definition, designed to kill civilians,” Schiff added. 

Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said that while Israel has a right to defend itself against violence from Hamas, it must use “every effort to avoid civilian casualties,” adding that “the violence has got to stop.”

“Israel has a right to defend itself but has to use every effort to avoid civilian casualties. And now I think they are trying, but nonetheless, the death toll increases and the violence has got to stop,” he said.

Violence between Israel and Hamas escalated over the past week, with militants launching rockets to Israel and the nation's military conducting airstrikes in Gaza. 

On Saturday, Israeli forces bombed a building in Gaza City that housed The Associated Press and Al JazeeraThe military told the owner of the building that occupants had an hour to leave before the structure would be bombed. The airstrike then flattened the building.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE on Sunday defended Israel’s decision to target the building, claiming that an intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization that “plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians” was housed in that building.