The International Movement for a Just World (JUST) unequivocally condemns the Israeli siege on Gaza in the strongest possible terms and calls for the immediate cessation of violence and a strictly adhered to ceasefire.
Mainstream media reports have blamed Hamas and the Islamic Jihad for the violence that has erupted from November 14, 2012. However, reports published by the Institute for Middle East Understanding details how the indiscriminate assassination of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy by Israeli forces on November 08, 2012 provoked the initial response from the Palestinian resistance. On November 10, 2012, an Israeli artillery shell landed in a soccer field in Gaza, killing two teenagers. Subsequently, an Israeli tank reportedly shelled a tent where mourners were gathered for a funeral, killing two more civilians. When the Palestinian resistance responded to these events, their actions were used as pretext by Israel to launch their ?Operation Pillar of Cloud.?
As of November 22, 2012, Israel has suffered 5deaths while almost 140 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. The current Israeli bombardment of Gaza comes just days after the re-election of Barack Obama, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defends his position in the January 2013 Israeli elections. Throughout Netanyahu?s term, Israeli activists have protested the deteriorating economic conditions in the country. In an attempt to obfuscate economic issues, Netanyahu?s administration appears to be leveraging security concerns to garner public support and confidence. Cases of illegal Jewish settlement expansion into Palestinian lands have increased at unprecedented rates under Netanyahu, who has approved the construction of 850 settler homes in the West Bank, even after the Israeli parliament rejected a bill to do so.
As Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestine Liberation Organization seeks non-member observer state status at the United Nations, Israel has threatened to end its participation in the Oslo Accords that allow Palestinian civil leadership to oversee administrational duties in some areas of the West Bank. As Netanyahu?s government works to shape Israeli law to legalize and legitimize the continued construction of settlement outposts throughout the West Bank, it is clear that apartheid enforced on ethnic and religious lines has become a ratified part of Israeli government policy. Israel Katz, Tel Aviv?s transport minister, has recently called ?for Gaza to be bombed so hard the population has to flee into Egypt.? Obviously, the current operation against Gaza is a premeditated component of Israeli expansionism, aimed at destroying the Palestinian State project.
Nation states and NGOs must address the historic injustices of Israeli policy towards the people of Palestine. It is clear that the main obstacle to peace in the region is not the Palestinian resistance, but Israeli leaders who adhere to the ideological tenets of political Zionism. The people of Palestine have been denied their human rights and have been subjected to war crimes of the highest order since the creation of Israel in 1948. Only through justice and global solidarity will it be possible to establish a Palestinian State.
The Executive Committee,
The International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
22 November 2012.