Local lawmakers react to ‘unconscionable' and ‘heinous terrorist attacks' in Israel

Representative Lori Trahan published a statement on social media, saying "The United States will continue to stand strongly with our Israeli allies."

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Lawmakers in New England are offering their reactions to the unprecedented attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, where Hamas fired thousands of rockets as dozens of fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land and sea, catching the country off guard on a major holiday and leaving hundreds dead and thousands wounded.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey reacted to the news on social media, saying she condemned the "unconscionable attacks on innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas."



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"I'm holding the victims of this violence and their families in my heart and praying for the safety of the people of Israel," she wrote.

Rep. Lori Trahan published a statement on social media, saying "The United States will continue to stand strongly with our Israeli allies."

Congressman Bill Keating echoed that sentiment saying "America stands with the Government and people of Israel in the fight against terrorism."

Rep. Jake Auchincloss released a statement Saturday morning, saying in part, "I fully support Israel’s right to respond and its obligation to its own citizens to defend the Jewish state through military force. I encourage the Biden administration to maintain close & constant engagement with Israeli leaders to ensure the United States is supporting all efforts to achieve a ceasefire”

Rep. Stephen Lynch said he was sickened to see the footage of the "savage terrorist attacks in Israel and the senseless killing of innocent Israeli civilians."

"There can be no justification for the slaughter of innocent people and I fully support Israel's right to defend its civilian population," he added.

Rep. Katherine Clark strongly condemned the "vicious terrorist attack by Hamas against innocent civilians in Israel."

"The violence is unprovoked and appalling, and I send prayers to the families in mourning and communities under siege," she wrote.

Rep. Jim McGovern said he was horrified by the news coming out of Israel and he strongly condemns the "vicious terror attacks."

"There is never an excuse for such despicable violence," he said. "I am praying for the innocent Israelis & Palestinians who have been caught in the crossfire. May peace prevail."

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said her heart breaks for the victims and their loved ones.

"These devastating attacks on Israelis are deeply alarming...we need an immediate ceasefire & de-escalation," she wrote. "It is long past time to stop this cycle of violence & trauma, and work toward a just & lasting peace in the region."

Local lawmakers are reacting to the surprise attack on Israel overnight, saying they were "sickened" to see the images of devastation.

In Rhode Island, Gov. Dan McKee said the state "stands in solidarity with Israel and we pray for their safety."

Vermont Sen. Peter Welch said his heart is with the victims impacted by this attack.

"I am appalled by the news of deadly attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel. This act of terrorism is unacceptable," he said. "These cycles of violence must stop."

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said there is no justification for this violence.

"I absolutely condemn the horrifying attack on Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad," he said. "Innocent people on both sides will suffer hugely because of it. It must end now."

In Connecticut, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the U.S. must stand with Israel.

"I am heartbroken and sickened by massive murderous attacks against Israeli civilians, leaving hundreds dead & wounded," he said.

Gov. Ned Lamont said he was appalled by the attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.

"Connecticut stands in solidarity with the people of Israel and condemns these terrorist attacks by Hamas," he said. "My heart is with the families of the victims in this dark hour."

Congressman Jim Himes also condemned the "brutal unprovoked attack on Israel by terrorists from Gaza," calling it "pointless violence."

"Israel can and will defend itself, and the United States will stand with Israel..." he wrote.

Sen. Chris Murphy said the entire world must stand together to renounce this horrific violence.

"What has happened in Israel is unconscionable," he said. "I stand firmly with the government of Israel and the Israeli people, and my every thought is with the grieving families and the wounded."

In Maine, Congressman Jared Golden said he stands firmly with Israel and is mourning the loss of innocent lives and keeping them in his prayers.

"Hamas has proved once again it has no wish to live in peace," he said. "Its incursion into Israel is blatant terrorism that must not be tolerated. Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East and our closest ally in that region."

Several hours after the invasion began, Hamas militants were still fighting gunbattles inside several Israeli communities in a surprising show of strength that shook the country. Israel’s national rescue service said at least 22 people have been killed and hundreds wounded, making it the deadliest attack in Israel in years.

At least 561 wounded people were being treated in Israeli hospitals, including at least 77 who were in critical condition, according to an Associated Press count based on public statements and calls to hospitals.

There was no official comment on casualties in Gaza, but Associated Press reporters witnessed the funerals of 15 people who were killed and saw another eight bodies arrive at a local hospital. It was not immediately clear if they were fighters or civilians.

Social media was replete with videos of Hamas fighters parading what appeared to be stolen Israeli military vehicles through the streets and at least one dead Israeli soldier within Gaza being dragged and trampled by an angry crowd of Palestinians shouting “God is Greatest."

Videos released by Hamas appeared to show at least three Israelis captured alive. The military declined to give details about casualties or kidnappings as it continued to battle the infiltrators.

“We are at war,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address, declaring a mass army mobilization. “Not an ‘operation,’ not a ‘round,’ but at war.”

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