WASHINGTON – U.S. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement regarding the safe evacuation of her constituent, Ramona Okumura, from Gaza:
“I am incredibly relieved that Ramona Okumura was able to safely evacuate Gaza after weeks of being stuck at the Rafah border crossing. Ramona is a retired prosthetics clinician who was in Gaza helping young people get fitted for prosthetics, doing life-saving and necessary work to take care of kids who are experiencing terrible violence.
“Since the outbreak of this war, my office has been in constant contact with Ramona, her family, and concerned friends. I and my team spoke multiple times to the White House and State Department officials to ensure her safe evacuation and convey Ramona’s status updates. Ramona should never have been put in this terrifying position, but I am thankful that she will soon be reunited with her family and friends.
“Ramona’s release is a relief. However, too many Americans and their families are still stuck in Gaza. I hope they are also able to safely evacuate very quickly. I have also consistently called for the immediate release of every single hostage who is still being held by Hamas. And I have been clear that we must have an immediate ceasefire, or at minimum, a cessation of hostilities so that millions of innocent civilians in Gaza are not suffering collective punishment for the terrorist actions of Hamas and so that sustained humanitarian aid can make its way into Gaza.”