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Help Us Bring Tariq Abu Khdeir to Tell His Story at Congressional Briefing

by Mike Coogan, Legislative Coordinator
July 25th, 2014

Urge Congress to Attend Briefing on Israel's Violence Against Palestinian Civilians   

The staggering death toll from Israel's attacks on Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip has surpassed 800 people, the vast majority of whom are civilians.  In the last three weeks, our Members of Congress have passed numerous resolutions by unanimous consent, without debate or recorded votes, backing Israel's massacres. 

Now Congress has introduced H. Con. Res. 107 condemning the use of human shields by Hamas.  The resolution of course fails to mention Israel's well-documented use of Palestinians as human shields.  The Israeli military has used Palestinian children to open bags it believed to be bomb-laden, held children in front of soldiers to prevent youth from throwing rocks, and forced children to enter homes believed to be rigged with explosives. 

We urgently need our Members of Congress and their staff to learn the truth about the brutality, human rights violations, and war crimes that Israel commits with our weapons, funding, and support.

That is why we are hosting an urgent briefing on Capitol Hill next Friday, August 1st, with:

  • Tariq Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian-American teenager who was brutally beaten by Israeli police earlier this month;
  • Suha Abu Khdeir, mother of Tariq who was present in Jerusalem when he was assaulted and fought for her son's release from Israeli jail;
  • Laila El-Haddad, author of Gaza Mom and former Al-Jazeera reporter;
  • Hassan Shibly, attorney and Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Florida; 
  • Brad Parker, International Advocacy Officer at Defence for Children International - Palestine, whose organization has extensively documented Israel's killings and torture of Palestinian children;
  • Sunjeev Bery, Advocacy Director for Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA.
Please take a few minutes to write and call your Members of Congress and ask each office to send a lawmaker, Legislative Director, or Foreign Policy Aide to this important briefing. 

Between September 2000 and April 2013, the Israeli military killed 1,518 children.  As one report described it: "That's the equivalent of one Palestinian child killed by Israel every 3 days for almost 13 years."

Israel's routine and deadly violence against Palestinian children and  civilians is in flagrant violation of U.S. laws, so why does Congress fail to hold it accountable to these laws and instead give it more than $3.1 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons each year? 

That's one of the question we are going to be asking at our upcoming Congressional briefing we're hosting. But we need you to make sure your lawmakers’ staff are there for it.  Will you contact your Congressional offices today and ask them to send a staff member?

Here are just a few cases from this year, some of which our panelists will be discussing, that illustrate the utter lack of accountability-for Israel's killing-of-civilians. 

On February 13th, Ibrahim Mansour was shot in the head and killed by the Israeli military.  Ibrahim was collecting gravel on the eastern edge of the Gaza Strip to help support his family.  The Israeli government claimed the killing was justified, but no evidence of any wrongdoing was presented. 

On March 19th, a 14-year-old boy, Yousef al-Shawamrah, was shot in the back and killed by the Israeli military.  Yousef and his friends were collecting thistle on land owned by his family.  The Israeli military recently concluded its "investigation" and absolved the soldiers of any wrongdoing in the killing.

On May 15th, two Palestinian teenagers, Nadim Nuwara and Muhammad Salameh, were shot and killed by the Israeli military while leaving a Nakba Day demonstration.  A medic trying to attend to the kids was also shot in the head.  Video evidence shows the boys posed no threat whatsoever at the time; the Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said the military acted "as appropriate."

We can't let the Israel continue to get away with the murder of Ibrahim, Yousef, Nadim, Muhammad, and so many other Palestinians being killed right now in the Gaza Strip.

Please write and call your Congressional offices today and ask them to send a staff member to the Congressional briefing on August 1st

If staff would like to RSVP or if they have questions, please ask them to contact development@endtheoccupation.org

And help us press for accountability by meeting with your Members of Congress during the upcoming August Congressional recess. Contact us here to get started.


Mike Coogan, Legislative Coordinator

P.S. - If you have already met with your congressional office, please fill out this report back form so we can follow up.