Save GAZA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT JOSEPH BIDEN UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN, JOHN CONYERS, JR. cc. President Husni Mubarak of Egypt Today we must recall the promise of never again following the genocide in Rwanda. Or, will we stand by and watch again as people are slaughtered in front of our eyes We are concerned US citizens with latest catastrophic developments facing the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. The missile air assaults by Israeli Armed Forces, against Palestinian civilians including women and children, so far 300 killed and 1,000 injured, resulting from the use of American supplied rockets, F-16 fighters, and Apache Helicopters, is in violation of our own US laws which prohibit the use arms against civilians. Given the above affirmations and the information below, we urge you to 1) immediately halt armed shipments to Israel, 2) intervene to affect an immediate cessation of bombing and other forms of war against civilians in Gaza, 3) lift the siege and allow humanitarian and medical supplies into Gaza, 4) and call for Congressional Hearings re Israel�s violation of US laws. At a time when people around the world have celebrated their Christmas holidays, Israel has carried a massive offensive in the Gaza Strip, leaving behind death, destruction and intense suffering. Israeli military planes carried out heavy air strikes on the most densely populated area on the planet. Israeli planes slammed missiles into over thirty targets in the 360 sq km Strip holding over 1.5 million people. The assaults were carried as school children were headed home from school. In the words of Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, 28 December 2008: �This massacre of Gazan civilians by the Israeli millitary, is indeed a crime against humanity. It is all the more cruel considering the suffering of the People of Gaza, under the collective punishment policy of Israel which has cut Gaza off from the World for almost 2 years, and led its one an a half Million people to living in what is the world largest open air prison, and suffering one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies in the world. The latest massacre by air bombing of civilians, is the action of an Israeli Government out of control, and living in the arrogant assumption that they can do whatever they want, and the American Government will continue to fund them (to the tune of $10 million per day) much of which is spent on military actions.� The result of the siege is that essential goods, including medicines and fuel �necessary for feeding the power plants that provide for the electricity in the Strip- are prevented from entering. Time and again, Gaza is put in the dark when the power plants stop working due to fuel shortages. Regularly, sewage water streams through the streets as an effect of the inability of the generators to regulate the water pumping station, or due to the lack of essential spare parts to fix the station. Since sewage water is highly toxic, many people have become ill, others even have died. This all could have been prevented, had Israel allowed for one checkpoint to open and let spare parts and fuel enter the area. These are constant threats people in Gaza face on a daily basis. The health sector remains unstable as the severe lack of fuel causes power cuts. According to the July 2007,UNRWA Gaza Situation Report, primary and secondary health care facilities are still functioning de-spite shortages of electricity and supplies such as X-ray film, laboratory kits, patient beds and examination tables. 160 types of medicine have already run out in Gaza due to the blockade. Supplies of another 130 will run out soon and at least 90 medical equipment, including 31 dialysis machines, are out of order. WHO reports that at least 51 people have died from October 2007-July 2008 as a direct result of not being able to access medical care outside Gaza � among these were 11 children. Incarcerated behind ghetto walls and brought to the brink of starvation by the siege for more than a year and a half, they are easy targets for Israel's indiscriminate bombing. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, John Dugard said of conditions in Gaza: �Gaza is a prison and Israel seems to have thrown away the key.� In the words of Current United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Richard Falk: Such a policy of collective punishment (�) constitutes a continuing flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law. It is time to act. At the very least, an urgent effort should be made at the United Nations to implement the agreed norm of a �responsibility to protect� a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a Crime Against Humanity." Avraham Burg, who led the World Zionist Organization and served as speaker in Israeli Parliament, who abandoned Israel to live in France, said of Israel�s treatment of its Palestinian citizens: �Israeli Arabs were like German Jews during the Second Reich and that the entire society felt eerily like Germany just before the rise of Hitler.� A thorough review of blind US support for Israel is way overdue. We trust that you will provide the responsible leadership to carve for our nation a new direction anchored in the concern for peace with justice for all people. Signed: Hasan Newash- Grosse Pointe Michigan 48230

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