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Andrew Yang issued a statement Wednesday in an attempt to defuse the controversy over a pro-Israel tweet he posted in the wake of escalating violence in the country and the Gaza Strip. The tweet outraged many on the left for failing to express any solidarity with the Palestinian people or to recognize the victims of Israeli air strikes. Clashes between the Israeli military and Gaza militants in recent days have killed 53 Palestinians, including 14 children; six Israelis have died, including one child, per the AP.

In the statement, Yang said he spoke with some of his campaign volunteers who were upset about what he wrote.

“They felt that my tweet was overly simplistic in my treatment of a conflict that has a long and complex history full of tragedies. And they felt it failed to acknowledge the pain and suffering on both sides,” Yang said. “They were, of course, correct.”

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