Hawaii’s House of Representatives joined the state’s Senate in calling for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, becoming the first state to pass such a resolution, according to Hawaii News Now.

The Senate passed the cease-fire resolution with a 24–1 vote in March, and the House passed it on a 48–3 vote Friday. Though the lawmakers are the first to pass a cease-fire resolution, the state legislature’s Public Access Room told HuffPost that it “does not have the force and effect of law” and does not need a signature from the governor.

According to the resolution, the lawmakers are pushing for the Biden administration to call for an immediate and permanent cease-fire.

In addition, the Hawaii lawmakers are demanding that the administration “facilitate the de-escalation of hostilities to end the current violence, promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including fuel, food, water, and medical supplies, and begin negotiations for lasting peace.”

President Joe Biden has previously called for a cease-fire in Gaza, but there does not seem to be a contingency plan should negotiations seeking a cease-fire fail, according to The Washington Post.

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel, an estimated 34,000 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip in retaliatory strikes from Israel, and 77,143 have been injured. Tensions in the region, though, go back for decades. Pro-Palestinian activists have organized protests and demonstrations nationwide, and some have even addressed lawmakers in public forums.

A Palestinian flag flies near the U.S. Capitol as people rally at the National Mall in a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Oct. 20. On Monday, Hawaii's legislature passed a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
A Palestinian flag flies near the U.S. Capitol as people rally at the National Mall in a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Oct. 20. On Monday, Hawaii’s legislature passed a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

Given Hawaii’s history of American businessmen overthrowing the Hawaiian Kingdom with the support of U.S. military forces in 1893, pro-Palestinian advocates have pointed out that Hawaii has a notable connection to the conflict in Gaza.

“People in Hawai’i, especially Native Hawaiians, are determined on this issue because it’s very jarring to know that our tax dollars are going to fund the genocide of another colonized people while, here at home, our government budgets aren’t covering the basic needs of the people,” Fatima Abed, founder of Rise for Palestine, told HuffPost. Abed said that she is both Palestinian and Puerto Rican, and has a family member who is based in Gaza.

“Lahaina and its people have not been sufficiently cared for after the wildfires last August. Native Hawaiians across the state have been underserved for decades. The people of Hawaii see that money being sent overseas to hurt people instead of helping here, and it makes no sense,” she said. “From the river to the sea, all of our people will be free.”

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