The National Catholic Review
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Fifty-four members of the U.S. Congress have signed a letter asking President Obama to press Israel to ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The letter was initiated by Representatives Jim McDermott of Washington and Keith Ellison of Minnesota. McDermott and Ellison, both Democrats, wrote that they understand the threats facing Israel from the ongoing Hamas terror activities against Israeli citizens but that “this concern must be addressed without resulting in the de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.... We ask you to press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza as an urgent component of your broader Middle East peace efforts.” They added that the blockade has hampered the ability of aid agencies to do their work in Gaza.