American Friends Service Committee – 2018-05-15 02:39:48
Protest US Israel Attacks on Palestine
American Friends Service Committee
(May 14, 2018) — Today, as the US and Israel celebrate the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank continue to protest the systematic denial of their rights.
As US officials speak in Jerusalem about how their actions will bring peace, Palestinians are being killed in Gaza, at least 52 today alone, bringing the total to at least 105. More than 10,000 have been injured to date, 166 critically. These numbers will continue to increase, and as protests have extended into the West Bank there is also a risk of injury and loss of life there.
Protests began on March 30 as part of what has become known as the Great Return March, a sustained protest seeking an end to the brutal decade-long blockade of Gaza, the 50-year-old Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the 70 years of injustice faced by Palestinians as a result of their displacement and dispossession in 1948, when more than 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes and communities.
The protests on May 14 and May 15, which include Palestinians in the West Bank, are also calling attention to the US embassy move.
The US administration offers Israel full support for its violent repression of the largely non-violent Gaza protests, placing responsibility for deaths in Gaza on Hamas and claiming that all protests stem from a Hamas attempt to inflict violence on Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Palestinians protest knowing the cost. They know that when they protest they may be injured or killed. They know that when they protest they may not come home. Yet people continue to protest â€“ not because they are compelled by Hamas or other groups, but rather because they recognize that their freedom and rights will not be given to them, but instead must be demanded. They refuse to remain silent in the face of brutal oppression. And neither can we.
ACTION: Contact Congress today, and urge your representatives to hold Israel accountable for violence against Palestinian protesters.
Hold Israel accountable for killing Palestinian protesters
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have taken part in a sustained protest known as the Great Return March over the last six weeks. The march was organized by Palestinians in Gaza as a nonviolent way to lift up before the world the ongoing denial of their rights living under occupation and siege.
Israel responded to these nonviolent protests through a brutal show of force. Israeli snipers opened fire against the protesters and deployed tear gas by drones, killing at least 105 Palestinians and injuring more than 10,000.
Disturbing videos have emerged on social media of Israeli forces apparently shooting unarmed Palestinians, including people shot in the back while moving away from the armistice line or praying. Human Rights Watch called Israel’s actions “unlawful” and “calculated.”
As your constituent, I ask that you stand up for Palestinians rights and demand accountability from Israel.
Israel receives $3.8 billion in US military aid every year, making it the largest recipient of US foreign assistance. US laws, such as the “Leahy Law,” the Arms Export Control Act, and the Foreign Assistance Act, are supposed to prevent US weapons from being used by other countries to commit human rights violations. Countries that violate these laws are subject to penalties, including a cut-off of additional weapons.
Israel must be held accountable for its actions. As a first step, I urge you to contact the Department of State to call for a US investigation into Israel’s actions, determine if US laws were violated, and to ensure that Israel is penalized as required under the law if there were violations.
If there are no calls for investigation and accountability from Israel — and calls for respect for the rights of Palestinians — more Palestinians will be killed and Palestinians rights will continue to be denied.
Itâ€™s critical that we hold Israel to account. I urge you to please take action on this issue.
Tell Congress to investigate and hold Israel accountable for these actions. We cannot remain silent in the face of this violence and oppression.
AFSC Middle East Program Director