Rep. Aiyash to join activists, lawmakers in ceasefire hunger strike
A Michigan lawmaker says he’s joining hunger strikers in Washington D.C. Wednesday night to call for a lasting ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Time reports the strike has been going on since Monday, when a group of activists and other state lawmakers from across the country began protesting outside of the White House.
Michigan state Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) said goals include calling attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and giving more time for aid to be delivered.
A temporary, four-day ceasefire went into place Friday. It was subsequently extended another two days. But Aiyash said that hasn't ended the crisis.
“It’s incredibly painful to see that, despite the stopping of bombs right now, folks are under crumbling infrastructure. Folks are under no running water, no access to food, no access to electricity,” Aiyash told reporters Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Aiyash and a couple dozen other Michigan state lawmakers sent a joint letter to President Joe Biden, asking him to also get behind a permanent ceasefire.
When asked Tuesday if Aiyash felt his colleagues were listening, Aiyash cited that letter as evidence the issue was being elevated.
“No one wants to see children being mauled and murdered. No one wants to see innocent men, women, and seniors attacked and killed and injured. And so, across the board, we recognize that the only way to achieve peace in the region is through diplomacy,” Aiyash said.
Aiyash is entering the hunger strike for its final two days, only having water, Gatorade, and black coffee, he said. The strike is scheduled to end Friday.
Violence between Israel and Hamas escalated on October 7, when the Israeli government says Hamas killed around 1,200 people in Israel and took around 240 more hostage in a surprise attack.
Israel has killed around 15,000 people in Gaza during its counteroffensive, according to reports citing Gazan officials.