Gaza: Stop the Siege, End the War!November 9th, 2006
Protest Israel's indiscriminate attacks on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip
Why: Israeli military forces have killed 77 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since beginning its military offensive on Wednesday, November 1. Today, Israel's 12-missle shelling of five homes in the Al-Kafarnah neighborhood left 18 civilians dead, including 7 children, 6 women and 11 members of the same family. Click here to read more. These attacks are being carried out with US weapons provided as military aid to Israel, in violation of the US Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts. The US Arms Export Control Acts limits the use of US-supplied weapons to self-defense and internal policing and forbids their use against civilians.The Foreign Assistance Act bans all US assistance to countries which engage in a systematic pattern of human rights violations.
Dr Abu Ala'a, Professor at Gaza University.
Dr Asad A. Shark, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 322636
Dr Ayoub Othman, + 972 599 412 826
Yousef Alhelou, Journalist based in Beit Hanoun.
In the past 8 days, Israel has killed 77 Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza. Among those murdered were:
Israel's military offensive on Gaza compounds the humanitarian crisis crippling Gazan livelihoods. According to the World Bank, "Palestinians are currently experiencing the worst economic depression in modern history." At present, unemployment is approaching an unprecedented level of 40% and as of April 2006, 79% of Gazan households were living in poverty.
The humanitarian crisis is a result of the economic boycott called by the European Union and the United States in response to the democratic election of Hamas to leadership of the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006. The boycott effectively suspends $1.3 billion in aid annually. Additionally, Israel has withheld $55 million per month in tax revenue, totaling close to half a billion dollars to date.
In addition to an economic boycott, Gazan residents must also contend with virtual closure. Palestinian workers from Gaza have not been allowed entry to Israel--Gaza's major employment market--since March 12, 2006. All major entry and exit points have been sealed since June 25, 2006.
On June 28, 2006 Israel shelled Gaza's major electric power generator which provided 45% of Gaza's electricity, imperiling Palestinian access to vaccines, dairy products, fresh foods and clean water.
Hamas has repeatedly called for cease-fire this year, April 7, 2006, June 16, 2006, and July 8, 2006.
The most recent call for a cease-fire came from Hamas spokesperson, Ahmed Yousef in an New York Times op-ed on November 1st.
In response to Hamas' repeated calls for calm, Israel has rejected calls for a cease-fire and has chosen to continue its indiscriminate military attacks instead.