Urgent Letter to US Leadership on Current Gaza Crisis

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

We, concerned United States citizens and members of the international community, are deeply troubled about the escalation of violence in the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, and specifically the increasing threat of a full Israeli military operation in Gaza. There have been a growing number of reports of escalating violence on the ground and rumors of warnings to internationals to leave the territory.

Mr. President and Madam Secretary, despite great international pressure, Israel has continued to undermine any serious effort leading to a peaceful solution. For decades, illegal settlement construction (per Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention to which both Israel and the United States are signatories) has continued in the West Bank. Villages continue to be demolished regularly, and evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem solidify the reality that Israel will not act in good faith to make peace with its neighbors. U.S. military aid and diplomatic support allow this to continue.

The five-year siege of Gaza has collectively punished the population in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The restriction of goods entering the territory has made efforts to rebuild severely damaged communities impossible. The absence of any significant method of exporting goods has affected the economy most negatively, only adding to the suffering.

In great contrast, the Palestinian leadership has outlined specific plans on how a Palestinian state would work with the international community to ensure both Palestinian security as well as address any Israeli security concerns.

Yet today in Gaza looms another military attack by Israel, reminiscent of Operation Cast Lead.

With great urgency we ask you: to take swift and decisive action to ensure that the threat of this aggression by Israel's powerful military forces be ended immediately, to compel Israel to comply with international law, to end US military aid, and to take real action to end this ongoing violence once and for all.

Sincerely,

Concerned United States citizens and members of the international community

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