More than 60 people testified in a Maryland General Assembly committee on Monday on a joint house resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire “in Israel and occupied Palestine.”

The resolution, introduced by Del. Gabriel Acevero (D-Montgomery), would express the legislature’s support for a ceasefire to the state’s congressional delegation. It also advocates for the immediate release of all Israeli hostages and for the federal government to send humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

The resolution comes as violence in Palestine and Israel approaches its fifth month of active conflict.

“What is happening in Gaza is both a travesty and a crisis of humanity,” Acevero said in the resolution’s rules and executive nominations committee hearing. “Like so many across my district, this country, in the world, we want to see an immediate ceasefire and an end to the decades long occupation of Palestine.”

In the past several months, hospitals, schools and refugee camps have been “targeted with no regard for human life,” Acevero said.

According to polling conducted in February by Data for Progress, a left-leaning think tank, about 67 percent of U.S. voters support a permanent ceasefire. Vice President Kamala Harris also called for a temporary ceasefire on Sunday.

Hamas militants killed more than 1,200 people in Israel and took about 250 hostages in an Oct. 7 attack, the Associated Press reported in January.

Israel declared war against Hamas the next day, the Associated Press reported. In the months since, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

During the resolution’s hearing, many advocates sat in the audience with signs reading “Ceasefire now.”

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Zainab Chaudry, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Maryland office director, testified in support of the legislation. A ceasefire is a local issue, she said.

“It’s impacting thousands of your constituents,” Chaudry said to the committee. “The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated.”

She said the resolution presents the legislature with the opportunity to become a “global beacon of compassion, morality and courage.”

A panel of three people testified against the resolution during Monday’s hearing, including Sarah Mersky Miicke, the Baltimore Jewish Council’s deputy director.

The Baltimore Jewish Council understands the position of supporting a ceasefire to prevent more loss of life, Miicke said.

“Like most Americans, we want the war to end,” Miicke said. “But also like most Americans and American Jews, we want a ceasefire only once the hostages are released and Hamas is removed from power.”

Meredith Weisel, a regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, testified against the legislation because it puts the blame for the crisis on Israel, she said during the hearing. She added that the state of Maryland is “not empowered” to make decisions about U.S. foreign policy.

“It includes demonizing language, false narratives about Israel and it doesn’t even mention the atrocities of Hamas,” Weisel said.

According to the legislation, the resolution would condemn “violations of international law, including both the attack on October 7, 2023, by Hamas, and the Israeli military’s response.”

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Maya Sheppard, a Prince George’s County resident, testified in support of the resolution, and said the state government has a “critical role” to play in calling for a ceasefire.

“I am Jewish and I have been horrified to watch the ways in which the U.S. government is supporting and funding a genocide against the Palestinian people in the name of Jewish safety,” Sheppard said. “I am here to join the thousands of other Maryland residents saying not in our name.”

The committee also heard testimony Monday on a resolution condemning Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian hate and antisemitism.

Del. Ashanti Martinez (D-Prince George’s), the resolution’s sponsor, said it was introduced in reaction to a rise in hate crimes against Muslim, Palestinian, Arab and Jewish communities.

“Hate has no place anywhere in Maryland,” Martinez said. “I ask that we stand with all of our communities by signing and passing this resolution.”

Samya Mohammad, an Islamic Maryland Action Network representative, supported Martinez’s resolution and emphasized that lawmakers need to discourage hate and bigotry in the state.

Mohammad highlighted “rising hate against Palestinian, Muslim and Jewish” communities in the U.S. since October.

“This should be alarming to all of us,” Mohammad said. “We have seen incidents during protests where protesters are being harassed. We would also like to point out that criticisms of the Israeli government should not be conflated with antisemitism.”

Abby Snyder, the Baltimore Jewish Council’s government affairs director, testified against the resolution because it does not condemn anti-Israel hate, she said.

“It states that Maryland was founded on the principles of equality, justice and respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals,” Snyder said. “However, nowhere in [the resolution] does it state that anti-Israel hate also undermines the principles of diversity, tolerance and mutual respect.”