Oakland considered a resolution to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas conflict on Monday, potentially joining nearly a dozen other US cities that have supported similar measures, from Michigan to Georgia. The resolution also advocates for the unrestricted entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, the restoration of basic services, “respect for international law,” and the release of all hostages.
Councilmember Carroll Fife, who brought the resolution, expressed concern about the loss of innocent lives, stating that her heart is too broken to fully express her feelings on the matter.
Several hundred individuals participated in the council meeting, many donning black-and-white Palestinian scarves, and their statements received cheers and applause. Currently, there is a temporary cease-fire in place between Israel and Hamas, facilitated by Qatar.
Oakland’s resolution calls for an immediate cease-fire, the release of hostages, unrestricted entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, restoration of essential services, and adherence to international law, emphasising the protection of innocent civilians. However, the resolution does not mention Hamas or the specific attack that triggered the conflict, drawing criticism from local groups, including the Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco, for omitting the “atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7.”
Some speakers at the Oakland meeting called for the council to amend the resolution to condemn Hamas.
Oakland’s action coincides with Hamas releasing some hostages from the 7 October attack, while Israel has released certain imprisoned Palestinians. Israel has expressed commitment to extending the cease-fire for one day for every 10 additional hostages released. However, Israel remains dedicated to undermining Hamas’ military capabilities and ending the group’s 16-year rule over Gaza, potentially involving an expansion of the Israeli military’s ground offensive.