By Casey Gannon, CNN
(CNN) — Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Japayal on Sunday reiterated her call for a ceasefire in Gaza, even as fighting has resumed following the collapse of a truce on Friday.
“It’s what has to happen, and I do think it’s realistic,” Jayapal told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
“We did have a temporary ceasefire and what happened? We were able to see a significant number of hostages released, we were able to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, and I think the long-term plan for what happens is incredibly important,” she continued.
Her comments come after the seven-day Israel-Hamas truce ended on Friday when negotiations reached an impasse and Israel accused the Palestinian militant group of violating the agreement by firing at Israel.
Within minutes of the truce expiring, smoke could be seen billowing across parts of the densely populated enclave as the Israel Defense Forces declared it was once again “out to destroy” Hamas.
Pressed by Bash on why she thinks Hamas would be willing to comply with a longer ceasefire, Jayapal called the situation “very complicated.”
“We don’t have all of the information in front of us, we obviously can rely on statements that are made, but I think that in these negotiations, everybody wants something,” she said.
“I think Qatar has said that Hamas is still at the table, Israel should still be at the table. In fact, some of the hostages, the Israeli hostages, are saying that Israel should still be at the table. It doesn’t happen unless both sides are willing to come to some kind of an agreement, that’s how we got the first seven days.”
Members of Congress and the Biden administration have faced increased pressure to publicly call for a ceasefire in the conflict, with President Joe Biden having fielded sharp criticism from inside his party over his refusal to do so.
Instead, the Biden administration has consistently advocated for humanitarian pauses to facilitate getting fuel into the war-torn strip and getting civilians out. Administration officials have maintained that a ceasefire would give Hamas time to regroup and launch another attack on Israel.
When asked about Hamas potentially remaining in the area if a ceasefire were to occur in Gaza, Jayapal said she didn’t think that would happen.
“I think what is true is Hamas needs to be taken out. It is a terrorist organization. But, I think the way to do that, as many terrorism experts have said, is to create a durable and strong coalition of allies within the Middle East with the United States, with Israel, to make sure that we have a long term political solution, that there is an alternative to Hamas to lead in Gaza, and to establish a state for Palestinians.”
Bash, pushing Jayapal to speak on allegations of rape perpetrated against Israeli women by members of Hamas – now being investigated by Israeli police – asked why some progressives have been “downright silent on what we saw on October 7.”
“I mean, I don’t know that that’s true. I think we always talk about the impact of war on women in particular. In fact, I remember 20 years ago, I did a petition around the war in Iraq,” Jayapal said.
“Have you talked about it since October 7?” Bash asked.
“Absolutely, and I’ve condemned what Hamas has done,” Jayapal said.
Bash pushed her again, “Specifically against women?”
“Absolutely, the rape, the – of course. But I think we have to remember Israel is a democracy. That is why they’re a strong ally of ours. And if they do not comply with international humanitarian law, they are bringing themselves to a place that makes it much more difficult strategically for them to be able to build allies, to keep public opinion with them, and morally, we cannot say that one war crime deserves another. That is not what international humanitarian law says,” Jayapal said.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Jack Forrest contributed to this report.
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