Fifteen dead and hundreds wounded by live ammunition in demonstrations is an intolerable result of a trigger-happy policy.
There are solutions to Gaza, but this weekend’s events prove that the government does not want to take the necessary political risks or deal with the potential response from the settler right.
It is the Israeli government that is responsible for the physical strangulation of Gaza as it stifles the hopes of 2 million Palestinians from living with even the most basic conditions of life: water, electricity, food and livelihood.
When there is no hope, when people are strangled by closure for years – a nonviolent demonstration is the only acceptable option they have. We must not remain indifferent to the distress, frustration and despair of people who have little to lose, who demonstrate unarmed at the Gaza fence in order to for Israel and the world to hear their plight.
Yes, Hamas also has a great deal of responsibility for the miserable situation of the Gaza residents, but Israel’s right and duty to protect its citizens cannot come at the expense of the Palestinians’ right to hold a nonviolent demonstration.
We must immediate end this “open fire” policy that has already led to so many dead and wounded, and to take all necessary actions to stop the violence from spreading to the West Bank, as well.
The government must make a series of decisions this evening:
- To wind down the siege, to stop the ongoing strangulation of the Gaza Strip.
- To allow work permits in Israel to thousands of Gazans in order to alleviate their economic distress.
- Entering into an immediate dialogue with the Palestinian leadership in order to stop the escalation.
- Striving for a two-state solution that includes the Gaza Strip as part of the process.
Ignoring these strategic steps will harm Israel’s interests, serve Israel’s enemies around the world, and further the interests of the enemies of peace in all camps.
We must act now, before it is too late and be dragged into another violent and unnecessary round of bloodshed!
Tomorrow, on Sunday, 1 April 2018 at 18:00 (6:00 PM), Peace Now and other organizations will be holding at protest outside the Likud Party Headquarters in Tel Aviv (King George St. 38) to demand that the government’s trigger-happy policy be halted and that Israel commit to promoting a peaceful, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.