In response to President Biden’s statement that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire, Mark Mellman, Democratic Majority for Israel president and CEO, issued the following statement:

“We thank President Biden and his administration for their extraordinary leadership, their steadfast support for our ally, Israel, and for their intensive, quiet diplomacy during the past two weeks as more than 4,000 rockets rained down on Israeli civilians from Hamas in Gaza.

“This president and this administration rightly place a high value on the U.S.-Israel relationship and acted like a good friend and strong ally should—regularly reiterating support for Israel and its right to defend itself, while working assiduously and effectively behind the scenes to bring about a ceasefire. Others would be wise to emulate President Biden’s model.

“The president rightly praised Iron Dome developed by Israel and the US and we applaud his commitment to replenishing the anti-missile system that prevented far greater loss of life.

“We also thank the Democratic majority in Congress which similarly condemned Hamas’s terrorism and supported Israel’s right to defend itself, while never giving up their commitment to peace.

“At the same time, we grieve the loss of innocent civilian lives, including children, that occurred as a result of Hamas’s rocket attacks and are anguished by the devastating toll it has taken on so many communities.

“We applaud the decision of the Israeli Cabinet to approve a ceasefire; we are pleased Hamas agreed to it and urge Hamas to uphold it. Hamas is responsible for the violence that has caused too much pain and suffering for far too many. The future of this ceasefire is in Hamas’s hands.

“DMFI believes in the dignity and worth of every Israeli and Palestinian, which is why we’ll continue to advocate for a negotiated two-state solution, and publicly oppose steps on either side that make that outcome harder to achieve.

“President Biden demonstrated his diplomatic skill in dramatic fashion this week. His critics had it, and him, wrong. We hope circumstances will enable the president to use those skills to make progress towards a lasting peace.”