Grassroots International joins our partners in Palestine and Israel and thousands of peaceful activists worldwide to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the siege of Gaza , especially the violent attacks on Palestinian civilians including women and children, and the resumption of negotiations for a lasting and just peace in the region. We call for an immediate end to all attacks on civilians on both sides.
Grassroots International condemns the disproportionate violence heaped upon the people of Gaza by the Israeli military. Grassroots International also condemns the rocket attacks by Hamas upon the people of Israel. Let it be clear, however, that the actions taken by the Israeli government far outweigh – both in size and in devastation – the damage caused by a faction of Hamas. Since 2004, rockets fired from Gaza into Israel have caused less than 20 civilian deaths – those attacks are to be condemned and those lives mourned. However, in that same time period, Israeli military response has caused the deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians – with even more deaths at the hands of a severe economic and geographic siege.
In every way possible, the current (and past) Israeli government has denied the Palestinian people the right to land, water, food and freedom. The current bombardment of Gaza underscores a preference for collective punishment instead of creative engagement, and only serves to expand the cycle of violence in the region. Calling on the international community to put more pressure on Israel to end its attacks on Gaza, Richard Falk , U.N. Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories (who was denied entry by Israel) said to the BBC, « Israel is committing a shocking series of atrocities by using modern weaponry against a defenseless population – attacking a population that has been enduring a severe blockade for many months. »
Every country has the right to defend itself, and this includes Israel. However, that right does not justify indiscriminate and brutal attacks on civilians, causing vast human suffering.
Increased violence will not bring security. It has not done so in the preceding decades and it will not now. The only way to peace is peace with justice. Grassroots International joins with others to call upon the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to discontinue all military and violent actions and sit down to seriously discuss peace with justice.
For more than 25 years, Grassroots International has worked with community-based organizations in the Middle East and throughout the world which strive for human rights, and the political struggle necessary to achieve those rights.