VOICES JOINS EFFORT AT BORDER CROSSING INTO GAZA
Many of you began supporting Voices activists when teams of delegates traveled to Iraq to defy the economic sanctions imposed against Iraq by the U.S., the U.K. and the international community. When the first delegation of Voices in the Wilderness traveled in January 1996, there was a deafening silence in the U.S. regarding the catastrophe being endured by Iraqi citizens. Economic sanctions were, indeed, collective punishment imposed by the U.S. and the U.K. against the Iraqi peoples.
Today, Israel’s economic and military siege of Gaza continues the immoral and illegal use of collective punishment against a civilian population. Every day brings news of death and destruction. As we write, over 750 Palestinians have been killed, many more injured. A third of those killed are children. The United Nations announced today that it was suspending operations in Gaza after a U.N. convoy was fired upon by Israel’s military, resulting in the death of an aid worker.
Kathy Kelly, Bill Quigley and Audrey Stewart, known to many of you through past delegations to Iraq and the Middle East, are in Egypt now, aiming to maintain a presence close to the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, near the city of Rafah. They will link with other internationals there and hope to coordinate efforts with other activists who have assembled there.
We’ll be posting updates on the Voices website.
We at Voices call for:
1) an immediate end to Israel’s military offensive into Gaza;
2) the withdrawal of all of Israel’s military forces from Gaza;
3) the opening of all border crossings into and out of Gaza to allow for the immediate delivery of all necessary humanitarian and medical supplies, including medical personnel;
4) the suspension of all U.S. assistance to Israel until such time as Israel ends its military offensive against Gaza; and,
5) the immediate end to the use of violence against populations in Israel and in the Occupied Territories of Palestine.
We recognize that these steps are only initial steps to address the immediate crisis and that much work remains to be done to achieve a just resolution of the conflict in Israel – Palestine.
We encourage you to seek out alternative sources of information on the current conflict and especially suggest the following resources:
You can download a free video player at this website. Once you download and install this player you will be able to watch live feeds of news from such sources as Al Jazeera and BBC World News.
(you can also watch a live stream in English on Live Station)