Palestinians salvage their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli air strike in Gaza City.
Photo: Khalil Hamra/AP
July 9, 2014
Tell the US Government to Stop Supporting Israeli Aggressions against Palestine
The Israeli military in the past 48 hours has been launching its heaviest airstrikes on Gaza since 2012. Palestinian militants have fired hundreds of rockets at Israel. The Palestinian rocket fire has caused injuries and property damage to Israeli civilians; the Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 41 Palestinians, including eight children, and injured more than 300.
We deplore and condemn the use of violence by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
We recognize that the current phase of violence comes within the context of a seven-year old blockade of Gaza, during which Israel and Egypt have exercised total control of Gaza’s borders. The blockade, launched in response to Hamas’s electoral victories and takeover of Gaza in 2007, has prevented any people or goods from entering or exiting Gaza without Israel’s or Egypt’s permission, which is granted on a very limited basis.
The results of this blockade include a dire shortage of medical supplies, food insecurity, denied education and travel opportunities, a crippling of the Gaza economy, and total lack of territorial sovereignty. Palestinian civilians wishing to flee the current violence are simply unable to do so, as the blockade traps them in one of the most densely populated territories in the world. The blockade and current warfare thus constitutes collective punishment against the Palestinian people of Gaza.
Moreover, neither the current onslaught nor the blockade of Gaza can be separated from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The blockade and occupation divide many Palestinian families and prevent any sort of political, social, or geographic contiguity. Israel’s current campaign against Gaza comes in the wake of its massive assault on the West Bank just last month. In its search for three Israeli teens, later found to be murdered, Israeli forces killed at least eight Palestinians, arrested 419, and raided 2,200 homes.
Finally, Israel’s attacks on Gaza are enabled by the $3.1 billion in annual military aid provided by the US Government. The US also gives $1.5 billion a year to the Egyptian military. For Americans, it is our tax dollars that are invested in the more powerful side of this imbalanced conflict.
We therefore urge you to contact President Obama and your Congressional representative and senators and ask them to stop supporting these Israeli aggressions, and Egyptian complicity, against Palestine.
In peace and hope,
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network
of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
PS - You can also sign this open letter from our friends at Jewish Voice for Peace, demanding that we condemn not only the violence in Israel/Palestine but also the root causes of that violence.
Please share this message widely!