Violence in Palestine and Israel continues to intensify, with mounting casualties. Since October 1, 50 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli forces and settlers and 8 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian knife attacks. Additionally an Eritrean Asylum seeker was killed after Israeli soldiers mistook him for a Palestinian.
We condemn the attacks perpetrated on both sides, and we call for actions that address the root causes that are fueling the violence: an end to the Israeli occupation and an end to United States’ military aid to Israel.
In recent weeks, Israeli soldiers have repeatedly opened fire upon protestors; soldiers and settlers have raided villages, refugee camps and neighborhoods, arresting over 650 Palestinians, most of them younger than 20 years old. Several children are even being held in administrative detention, without charges. Palestinian youth, mostly in Jerusalem, have attacked Israelis mostly with knives, killing 8, while two Hamas-fired rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System.
We have seen this cycle of violence before and know its underlying cause is neither religious nor ethnic. Rather, the crisis comes from a fundamental violation of Palestinian human rights, as the Israeli Occupation continues to push Palestinians into smaller and smaller areas in the Palestinian territories and maintains a separate and unequal system for Palestinian citizens of Israel, while carrying out rampant and illegal expansion of settlements.
On settler violence, Jamal Juma, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign (a Grassroots International partner) and the Land Defense Coalition says:
“The settler population has become a well-armed, well-organized and ideologically driven militia. They maraud in Palestinian villages and attack Palestinians in the streets and even in their homes. From last year’s horrific burning alive of young Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem to the recent arson attack on the Dawabshah’s home in Duma, murdering the parents and a toddler, settlers have carried out a string of terror attacks on Palestinians. Israel maintains and supports this fanatic militia to carry out the dirtiest parts of Israeli aggression and repression in the West Bank.”
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, has issued several reports with further evidence of Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians.
In the face of such attacks, the Palestinian people are continuing to build a powerful resistance movement with courage and determination. As people of conscience, we call for an end to violence and support for peaceful resistance by holding our own government accountable, and taking action to stand in solidarity.
One immediate action you can take is to oppose President Obama’s current proposal to increase US military aid to Israel by 50% to an unconscionable $45 Billion. Please sign this petition to your representatives and the President today, and demand that money from US taxpayers not fund weapons for Israel.
For additional information, please view these resources:
- Israel & Palestine: A Very Short Introduction – a video by Jewish Voice for Peace
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights – offering weekly updates from the field
- Stop the Wall Campaign – resources including maps of expanded settlements and occupation
- Massachusetts Peace Action – November 14 event: A New Day? Organizing to Change US Policy on Israel and Palestine