Since July 8, the Israeli assault on Gaza has resulted in more than 2,122 Palestinians murdered, including 400 children as reported by Reuters. The UN says that most of the victims have been civilians.
The attacks on Gaza are continuing. The Israeli Defense Forces bombed a 12 story, 44 suite apartment building in Gaza City on August 23rd. According to UNICEF Palestine, a quarter of the population in Gaza, 50% of which are children, are displaced. Israel has destroyed nealy 12,000 homes in Gaza, causing at least 460,000 displaced people to stay in UN emergency shelters or with host families according to Reuters.
The UN Security Council has called for a cessation of hostilities and a comprehensive peace agreement. Likewise, US Secretary of State John Kerry presented Israel with a ceasefire proposal last Friday, July 25. However, the Israeli cabinet ministers unanimously rejected Kerry’s cease-fire proposal and instead chose to continue the siege on Gaza.
Israel’s excessive use of force in Gaza is collective punishment that harms innocent Palestinian civilians and children. The Israeli government must be held responsible for these unjust attacks, which violate international law. Rather than continue to blindly support Israel’s short-sighted policies of violence and aggression, Congress needs to support Secretary Kerry and the international community’s attempts to establish a comprehensive peace agreement that will end the blockade and allow the Palestinians to live with dignity. The head of the U.N. relief agancy UNRWA said that Gazans will not see any improvement in their lives for at least 15 years unless negotiations succeed in lifting the blockade of Gaza, Reuters reported.
Tell the White House and your congressional representatives to condemn Israel’s indiscriminate collective punishment, support an immediate ceasefire, and a resolution of all outstanding issues driving the conflict.
- The U.S. should demand a comprehensive ceasefire from both Hamas and Israel
- Israel needs to end the blockade and allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza
- Israel’s indiscriminate and unjust collective punishment measures, which violate international law, should be strongly condemned. Israel should not be given a free pass for its role in creating and escalating this crisis, and its bombing of civilian areas should be condemned by the U.S. just as strongly as it condemned Hamas’s firing of rockets. Sending alerts such as “warning bombs” does not transform civilian homes into legitimate military targets, particularly when the civilian population has no place to go.
- The US should cut military aid to Israel. The US gives Israel $3 billion per year in military aid, or $8.5 million each day. Congress claims that the US’ strong bilateral relationship with Israel is based on “a mutual commitment to democratic values,” yet Israel has massacred over 1,500 Gazans since July 8th 2014. Israel is clearly not committed to democratic values, and should no longer receive military aid from the USA.
- The underlying causes driving the conflict must be resolved: The Gaza blockade and limitations on freedom of travel of Gazans should be lifted, and Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories should be ended