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For Immediate Release: November 21st, 2012
Contact: 202-332-0994

Media Release: U.S. Should Act to Get Immediate Ceasefire, End Siege of Gaza and Aid to Israel

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November 21 (Washington, DC)—The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation called on the Obama administration today to exert its full diplomatic efforts to obtain an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip. The US Campaign also called on the Obama administration to pressure Israel to end its illegal siege of the Gaza Strip and end U.S. military aid to Israel.

To date, the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts have been biased and unbalanced, essentially giving Israel a green light to continue its brutal attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As of today, Israel has killed at least 136 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 91 civilians and 28 children according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. In addition, five Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets.

The Obama administration’s faulty diplomatic position was highlighted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pre-meeting remarks yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rather than advocating for an immediate ceasefire, Clinton called only for Palestinians to end rocket attacks against Israel; she failed to call on Israel to halt its much more devastating and disproportionate attacks against Palestinians.  

In addition to pressing Israel for an immediate ceasefire, the United States also must use its leverage with Israel to end its siege of the Gaza Strip. It is past due to make good on President Barack Obama’s January 2009 statement that “Gaza’s border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce.” In 2011, U.N. human rights experts concluded that Israel’s policies toward the Gaza Strip constituted collective punishment and were a “flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law.”

In Israel’s current attacks on the Gaza Strip, it has killed many Palestinians with U.S. weapons provided at U.S. taxpayer expense. For example, initial media and human rights reports indicate that Israel killed many Palestinians with missiles fired from F-16 fighter jets, including eight members of the al-Dalu family in Gaza City. A case study released yesterday by the US Campaign shows that U.S. taxpayers funded the transfer of at least 93 F-16D fighter jets and more than 13,000 F-16 spare parts and co-produced parts to Israel, valued at $2.7 billion, in the previous decade.

Under the Arms Export Control Act, U.S. weapons can be used by countries only for “legitimate self-defense” and “internal security.” The US Campaign calls on the Obama administration to initiate an investigation into Israel’s potential violations of U.S. law and to hold Israel accountable for any such violations by ending U.S. military aid to Israel.

Ending Israel’s illegal siege of the Gaza Strip and ending U.S. military aid to Israel are necessary initial steps toward ending Israel’s 45-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and Israel’s apartheid policies toward the Palestinian people in order to establish a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.    

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of nearly 400 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians to support human rights, international law and equality. For additional information, please visit: http://www.endtheoccupation.org

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