A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Representatives Chris Pappas, Nicole Malliotakis, Dina Titus, Brad Schneider, and Grace Meng has called upon Secretary of State Antony Blinken to safeguard the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza amidst reports of an unvetted flotilla planning to sail from Turkey to Gaza.

The move comes amidst escalating tensions and concerns over Turkey’s imposition of export restrictions on crucial materials to Israel. The bipartisan letter, supported by 15 additional cosigners, brings together a total of 20 representatives. In their communication to Secretary Blinken, the lawmakers emphasized their support for the Administration’s comprehensive, multilateral strategy aimed at ensuring the uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Highlighting ongoing efforts such as the construction of a floating pier off Gaza and the Cyprus-led Amalthea humanitarian corridor, the lawmakers commended effective international cooperation designed to ensure that aid reaches Palestinian civilians without bolstering Hamas.

Expressing significant apprehensions regarding the reported “Freedom Flotilla Coalition,” the lawmakers pointed out its intention to bypass established aid channels and refuse Israeli inspection of cargo. Led in part by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), an organization with close ties to the Turkish government and a history of raising funds for Hamas, the flotilla’s mission raises doubts about its true humanitarian nature.

The lawmakers underscored concerns that the flotilla could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, inflame regional tensions, and undermine ongoing negotiations for a temporary ceasefire. They reaffirmed their support for Israel and the uninterrupted delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza while opposing any actions that could impede effective aid delivery or escalate the conflict.

The letter received support from various organizations, including the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), American Hellenic Institute (AHI), American Jewish Committee (AJC), and FDD Action.

On balance, this bipartisan effort aims to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in need in Gaza while advocating for measures that prevent actions detrimental to regional stability and peace negotiations.