Rep. Sara Jacobs
Rep. Sara Jacobs speaks on the House floor this week. Screenshot from video

Rep. Sara Jacobs on Saturday criticized plans by Israel to expand the war against Hamas terrorists into southern Gaza, calling instead for a bilateral ceasefire and release of Israeli hostages.

“Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israeli civilians on October 7th was gruesome, horrifying, and inexcusable, and the State of Israel has the right to respond to protect its citizens, and hold Hamas accountable,” said Jacobs.

“However, I am gravely concerned by reports that the Netanyahu Government plans to expand its military operation into southern Gaza — a month after its evacuation notice of northern Gaza, which displaced over a million Palestinians to the south.”

Jacobs, a Democrat who represents central San Diego County, is the youngest Jewish member of Congress and co-chair of the Protection of Civilians in Conflict Caucus.

She noted that more than 10,000 Palestinians, including thousands of children, have already died in the war.

“It is time for a bilateral ceasefire — to immediately release the hostages; to establish humanitarian access and allow fuel, food, water, and medical care into Gaza; and to end the bombardment of millions of Palestinian civilians,” Jacobs said. “The United States has a legal and moral obligation to protect civilian lives, and to hold our closest allies to the same standards we hold everyone else.”

So far, the Israel Defense Forces have concentrated operations in northern Gaza, attempting to disrupt the Hamas tunnel system and kill terrorist leaders.

But an Israeli military spokesman indicated on Friday that the military operation against Hamas would advance into southern Gaza, though he gave no indication of timing. A wave of shelling on Thursday in southern Gaza has stirred fear among displaced Palestinians sheltering there that the anticipated military push is imminent.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.