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November 2012, Week 3

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Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:49:17 -0500
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Women Peace Activists & Green Party Slam Gaza Attacks

(1)

MADRE Demands an End to Attacks
in Gaza and Israel

MADRE
November 16, 2012

http://www.madre.org/

WASHINGTON

MADRE, an international women's human rights
organization, condemns the growing violence that
has killed at least 18 people in the past days: 15 in
Gaza and three in Israel. We assert that all attacks
against civilians must end immediately.

Yesterday, Israel carried out a targeted killing of
Hamas leader Ahmed Al-Jaabari, in violation of
international legal prohibitions on extrajudicial
assassinations. Subsequent attacks brought the
death toll in Gaza to 15. Reports from Gaza indicate
that at least 130 people are wounded. Three Israelis
have been killed in a rocket attack that collapsed
part of a building.

These latest assaults come after a period of
escalating attacks and tension. In the week leading
up to the assassination of Jaabari, the Palestinian
Center for Human Rights documented the deaths of
six civilians in Gaza due to Israel's military activity.
That same week saw repeated rockets attacks from
Gaza into Israel, also in violation of international
law.

In January, Israel will be holding elections, and
some have suggested that the assassination and
airstrikes are a bid by Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu to galvanize his far right base. Now that
a ground offensive may be imminent, many more
lives are at risk.

The people of Gaza already live under a US-
supported Israeli military siege that denies them
basic rights, like access to clean water and medical
care. The current airstrikes not only risk civilian
lives, they destroy essential infrastructure in Gaza
still not rebuilt from the last Israeli offensive four
years ago.

Today, MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind
said, "By assassinating a man who has played a
central role in past ceasefire negotiations, Israel's
leaders are further foreclosing the possibility of
peace. That, in fact, is the essence of Netanyahu's
election strategy. And families in Gaza are paying
with their lives for his political manipulations. The
Palestinian and Israeli women we work with are
committed to breaking the cycle of violence and
ending Israel's occupation and siege of Gaza."
__________

MADRE is an international women's human rights
organization that works in partnership with
community-based women's organizations worldwide
to address issues of health and reproductive rights,
economic development, education, and other
human rights. MADRE provides resources, training,
and support to enable our sister organizations to
meet concrete needs in their communities while
working to shift the balance of power to promote
long-term development and social justice. Since we
began in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25
million dollars worth of support to community-
based women's organizations in Latin America, the
Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the
Balkans, and the United States. For more
information about MADRE, visit our website at
www.madre.org.
    
(2)                   

Green Party: The U.S. must press Israel not to
launch a new war on Gaza; Greens urge an
immediate truce and resumption of negotiations

     The U.S. is ignoring the source of the conflict
     and chain of incidents leading up to the
     current Gaza crisis, say Greens
     
November 16, 2012

http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=571

WASHINGTON, DC

Green Party leaders said today that the U.S. must
pressure Israel not to resume its war on Palestinians
living in Gaza, and that the illegal blockade and
hardship imposed by Israel on Gaza must end.

"President Obama and Congress have the clout to
stop a repeat of the 2009 Gaza War, in which more
than 1300 Palestinians were killed, including 700
civilians, over 300 of them children. Thirteen
Israelis were also killed, of whom three were
civilians. This is a 'David and Goliath' fight, with
nuclear-powered Israel acting in disregard for
international law against a dispossessed people
living under siege. Israel's assaults on Gaza will not
make Gazans go away or resolve the conflict," said
Muhammed Malik, former co-chair of the Miami-
Dade Green Party, who recently spoke at the
Students for Justice in Palestine National
Conference at the University of Michigan. (2009
Gaza War casualties: see

http://www.dci-pal.org/english/display.cfm?CategoryId=1&DocId=917 and figures referenced at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Gaza_War)

Green Party leaders noted that targeted
assassinations are illegal and that the airstrike
authorized by Prime Minister Netanyahu and
Defense Minister Barak that killed Hamas military
commander Ahmad al-Jabari also killed his 14-
year-old son.

The Israeli airstrike ended two days of calm after
news that Egypt had brokered a truce between Israel
and Palestinian officials. The truce was meant to
end a surge of violence that resulted in more than
100 missiles fired out of Gaza and repeated Israeli
strikes on the Gaza Strip, where people are already
living in conditions comparable to an open-air
prison (
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/16/israeli_negotiator_hamas_commander_was_assassinated).

"The Obama Administration should press for an
immediate ceasefire and resumption of the
negotiations. Claims by Israeli and U.S. officials that
the IDF is trying to avoid Palestinian civilian
casualties are not credible. Washington and the U.S.
media have focused on the increased Palestinian
rockets fired from Gaza but are ignoring the chain of
incidents, including killings of Palestinian civilians,
that motivated Hamas to fire rockets out of Gaza,"
said Jill Stein, the Green Party's 2012 nominee for
President.

"The terrorism that Israel is using to maintain the
occupation far outweighs the retaliatory terrorism
committed by Hamas. Unless these assaults can be
halted, we'll see another massacre of Gazan civilians
and further deterioration of the city," added Dr.
Stein. (For a timeline of events leading up to the
recent confrontation, see
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-israel-shattered-gaza-truce-leading-escalating-death-and-tragedy-timeline and
http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/11/15/when-does-israelpalestine-violence-start/)

"The U.S. government and most U.S. media have
ignored the heart of the conflict between Israel and
Palestinians, including Gazans -- Israel's ethnic
cleansing of Palestinians from their native land,
ongoing colonization of Palestinian land in Israel
and the Occupied Territories, and Israel's refusal to
allow refugees to return home, as prescribed by
international law.  Over two thirds of Gazans are
from Israel and the West Bank," said Justine
McCabe, co-chair of the Green Party's International
Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).

While self-defense and armed resistance against
military occupation are legal under international
law, no such law tolerates attacks on civilians.
Greens have urged support for Palestinian and
Israeli peace groups and for nonviolent resistance,
and have called for an end to all violence targeted at
unarmed civilians. Greens insist that regional
stability and security for all the people of Israel and
Palestine are not possible until peaceful negotiation
based on international law resolves the conflict.

The Green Party of the United States has called for
boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel
until it complies with international law and U.N.
directives, ends the occupation of Palestinian lands,
and observes full and equal human rights for
Palestinians within Israel and the Occupied
Territories, including the right to return home.

"Washington must stop aiding Israel's violations of
human rights. Israel has a budget surplus and 6.5%
unemployment. U.S. taxpayers, facing austerity and
unemployment at home, are seeing $3 billion of
their tax money sent annually to Israel, which
receives 60% of all U.S. foreign military financing,"
said David Schwartzman, member of the DC
Statehood Green Party and the Green Party's
International Committee.

"Israel's history of aggression towards Palestinians
and neighbors like Lebanon and Syria has made it
increasingly isolated internationally. If this situation
continues, we'll see more animosity directed against
the U.S., and chances for peace and security for
Israelis and Palestinians will dwindle. Nor will
Americans indefinitely accept their government's
misguided Middle East policies and pay exorbitant
tax dollars for it," said John Rensenbrink, Maine
Green and member of the International Committee.

See also:

"U.N. experts say Israel's blockade of Gaza illegal"
Reuters, September 13, 2012
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/13/us-un-gaza-rights-idUSTRE78C59R20110913

"U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel"
Congressional Research Service, March 2012
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

"Hamas Wins Palestinian Elections: Questions you need answered"
Jewish Voices for Peace
http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/hamas-wins-palestinian-elections-questions-you-need-answered

"Gaza Redux"
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance, November 16, 2012
http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2012/11/gaza-redux.html

___________________________________________

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