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Kamala Harris calls for 'immediate cease-fire' in Gaza to get hostages out, aid in

"What we are seeing every day in Gaza is devastating," she said.

Published: March 4, 2024 8:15am

Vice President Kamala Harris called for an "immediate cease-fire" in Gaza to facilitate the release of hostages and the entrance of aid into the strip, although she still maintains that Hamas should be eliminated. 

Speaking Sunday in Selma, Ala., on the 59th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," which marks the day that police officers assaulted civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Harris immediately addressed what she called the "humanitarian crisis in Gaza," to applause from the crowd, according to the official White House transcript.

Although Harris stressed Israel's right to self-defense, she received applause multiple times throughout her speech when she called for more aid into Gaza and for the rights of the Palestinian people. 

"The threat [that] Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated. And given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate cease-fire for at least the next six weeks, which is what is currently on the table," she said amid rancorous applause after she said the word "cease-fire."

"Hamas claims it wants a cease-fire. Well, there is a deal on the table. And as we have said, Hamas needs to agree to that deal. Let’s get a cease-fire. Let’s reunite the hostages with their families. And let’s provide immediate relief to the people of Gaza," she also said. 

Israel has reportedly agreed to the framework for a temporary cease-fire, but Hamas has yet to respond publicly. The deal would see the release of at least some of the 130 people still being held captive in Gaza after Oct. 7, 2023, as well as increased humanitarian aid for Palestinians. 

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