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Talking Points for Engaging the Media, Elected Officials, and Others on the Crisis in Gaza

January 2009
  • Numerous reports, including by Amnesty International, have cited Israel’s November 4th raid into Gaza as effectively breaking the ceasefire.
  • The Israeli ‘disengagement’ of 2005 DID NOT end the occupation of Gaza – and an occupying power is responsible for the welfare of people under its occupation.  An occupation is determined by whether there is effective control – not simply the presence of illegal settlers and soldiers.   
  • Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed a ceasefire that included Gaza on November 26, 2006. However, Israel continued to conduct incursions into the West Bank and carry out “targeted assassinations,” some of which resulted in the murder of civilians. Between November 26, 2006 and April 3, 2007, Israeli forces killed 51 Palestinians in the West Bank.
  • A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report in 2007, “Indiscriminate Fire,” documented that from September 2005 through May 2007, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired 14,617 artillery shells into Gaza compared to 2,700 fired into Israel by Palestinian armed groups.  HRW further stated, “When investigating incidents, HRW found that IDF shelling with 155mm howitzers often caused unnecessary loss of civilian life and property in violation of International Humanitarian Law.”  
  • Over 80% of Gazans now live in poverty according to the United Nations and the World Bank. The World Bank has identified Israel’s tight control of movement of people and goods into and out of, as well as within, the occupied territories as the single most important reason for the collapse of the Palestinian economy.
  • Israel has never implemented the agreement on movement and access that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice negotiated in November 2005. Israel must end its assault on Gaza and let Gaza have open borders to the rest of the world.
  • Although Israel has not dismantled even the West Bank “outposts” as it had promised the U.S., let alone the rest of its illegal settlements and infrastructure in the West Bank, in 2008 the U.S. increased military aid to Israel by 25% which will total $30 billion over the next 10 years. U.S. military and political support means Israel can ignore legitimate Palestinian aspirations for independence, sovereignty, equality and justice. It makes a mockery of claimed U.S. support for the “peace process,” because the U.S. guarantees the overwhelming superiority of the Israeli occupier and its decades-long exploitation of Palestinian land and resources. 
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