weekend, Israel and Hamas
agreed separately to a cease-fire and Israel has begun to withdraw its
troops from the occupied Gaza Strip. Since December 27, Israel
killed more than 1,250 Palestinians, more than half of whom were civilians
according to the UN, medical sources, and human rights organizations, and
injured more than 5,000. 13 Israelis
were killed, including 10 soldiers, four of whom died in a ‘friendly fire’
incident. As of this morning, Israel is
closing border crossings into the Gaza Strip, thereby preventing the unimpeded
access of humanitarian goods in violation of UN Security Council Resolution
war on the occupied Gaza Strip began, the US Campaign to End the Israeli
Occupation has called for:
immediate an unconditional cease-fire In the meantime, please visit our website
for more ways to take action right now.
2) Unimpeded humanitarian access to the occupied Gaza Strip and an end to
Israel’s blockade of it
3) Accountability for Israel’s misuse of U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms
Export Control Act and the imposition of the required sanctions for violating
Tens of thousands of people in the United States took action—marching in the
streets, distributing educational materials, contacting Congress, the White
House, and State Department, and making your voices heard in the media—to help
bring about this cease-fire.
While the weapons have fallen silent
momentarily, we cannot let up in our activism. Please
visit our “End
Israel’s War and Siege on Gaza” web section for suggested ideas and ways to
continue to be involved.
In fact, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that Israel lifts
its illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip, which is a form of collective
punishment of its 1.5 million residents outlawed by the Geneva
Conventions. Returning to the pre-December 27 status quo in the occupied Gaza Strip is not
acceptable. As the Occupying Power
of the Gaza Strip, Israel
is obligated under the Geneva Conventions to provide for the well-being of its
residents. This includes ensuring full
and unimpeded access of humanitarian goods, and opening the borders of the Gaza
Strip for normal trade and for freedom of movement. Israel must also be held accountable
for its destruction of Palestinian infrastructure and be forced to pay
reparations for the human and infrastructural damage it inflicted. These immediate demands must be followed by a
diplomatic process with all interested parties which results in an end to Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian
Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem,
as required by UN Security Council Resolution 242.
must also be held accountable for its violations of the Arms Export Control Act
through its wanton killing and injuring of civilians; its targeting of civilian
infrastructure such as police stations, schools, universities, mosques,
hospitals, humanitarian aid providers, and UN compounds; and its indiscriminate
use of white phosphorous and uranium oxide munitions in civilian areas. As we have documented,
Israel’s war and siege on
the Gaza Strip would not have been possible without U.S.
weapons provided to Israel
with our tax dollars. It is our job to demand of our politicians
is held accountable for its violations of this law and that sanctions,
including ending military aid, are imposed as required by law. Rep.
Dennis Kucinich has already demanded a State Department investigation into Israel’s
violations of the Arms Export Control Act and we must collectively build
momentum to ensure the investigation is complete and accurate and that Congress
acts on the results of the investigation.
Today our office is buzzing with dozens of volunteers from all over the country
who have come to Washington,
DC for President-Elect Obama’s
inauguration. We are organizing teams of
volunteers to cover the National Mall tomorrow collecting signatures on
postcards to end military aid to Israel.
Beginning Wednesday, we will be calling upon you to take action from day one of
the Obama Administration to demand an end to Israel’s
illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip and for accountability and
sanctions on Israel for its
violations of U.S.
law and human rights abuses of Palestinians.