Urgent call from Gaza civil society: Act now!

Palestinians mourn victims of Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, 12 July.

Mohammed Asad APA images

We Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip call on conscientious people all over the world to act, protest and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.

With the world turning their backs on us once again, for the last four days we in Gaza have been left to face massacre after massacre. As you read these words, over 120 Palestinians are dead now, including 25 children. Over 1,000 have been injured including countless horrifying injuries that will limit lives forever –- more than two thirds of the injured are women and children.

We know for a fact that many more will not make it through the next day. Which of us will be next, as we lie awake from the sound of the carnage in our beds tonight? Will we be the next photo left in an unrecognizable state from Israel’s state-of-the-art flesh-tearing, limb-stripping machinery of destruction?

We call for a final end to the crimes and oppression against us. We call for:

  • Arms embargos on Israel, sanctions that would cut off the supply of weapons and military aid from Europe and the United States on which Israel depends to commit such war crimes;
  • Suspension of all free trade and bilateral agreements with Israel such as the EU-Israel Association agreement;
  • Boycott, divestment and sanctions, as called for by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society in 2005

Without pressure and isolation, the Israeli regime has proven time and time again that it will continue such massacres as we see around us now, and continue the decades of systematic ethnic cleansing, military occupation and apartheid policies.

We are writing this on Saturday night, again paralyzed in our homes as the bombs fall on us in Gaza. Who knows when the current attacks will end? For anyone over seven years old, permanently etched on our minds are the rivers of blood that ran through the Gaza streets when for over three weeks in 2009 over 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including over 330 children.

White phosphorous and other chemical weapons were used in civilian areas and contaminating our land with a rise in cancers as a result. More recently 180 more were killed in the week-long attacks in late November 2012.

This time what? 200, 500, 5,000? We ask: how many of our lives are dispensable enough until the world takes action? How much of our blood is sufficient? Before the Israeli bombings, a member of the Israeli Knesset Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party called for genocide of the Palestinian people.

“They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes,” she said. “Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.” Right now nothing is beyond the murderous nature of the Israeli State, for we, a population that is mostly children, are all mere snakes to them.

As said Omar Ghraib in Gaza, “It was heart shattering to see the pictures of little boys and girls viciously killed. Also how an elderly woman was killed while she was having her iftar at Maghreb prayer by bombing her house. She died holding the spoon in her hand, an image that will need a lot of time to leave my head.”

Entire houses are being targeted and entire families are being murdered. Early Thursday morning the entire al-Haj family was wiped out — the father Mahmoud, mother Bassema and five children. No warning, a family targeted and removed from life. Thursday night, the same again, no warning, five more dead including four from the Ghannam family, a woman and a seven year old child amongst them.

On Tuesday morning the Kaware family did get a phone call telling them their three-story house would be bombed. The family began to leave when a water tank was struck, but then returned with members of the community, who all came to the house to stand with them, people from all over the neighborhood.

The Israeli jets bombed the building with a roof full of people, knowing full well it was full of civilians. Seven people died immediately, including five children under 13 years old. Twenty-five more were injured, and eight-year-old Seraj Abd al-Aal succumbed to his injuries later that evening.

Perhaps the family was trying to appeal to the Israeli regime’s humanity, surely they wouldn’t bomb the roof full of people. But as we watch families being torn apart around us, it’s clear that Israel’s actions have nothing to do with humanity.

Other places hit include a clearly-marked media vehicle, killing the independent journalist Hamed Shehab, injuring eight others, a hit on a Red Crescent rescue vehicle and attacks on hospitals which caused evacuations and more injuries.

This latest session of Israeli barbarity is placed firmly in the context of Israel’s inhuman seven-year blockade that has cut off the main life-line of goods and people coming in and out of Gaza, resulting in the severe medical and food shortages being reported by all our hospitals and clinics right now.

Cement to rebuild the thousands of homes destroyed by Israeli attacks had been banned and many injured and ill people are still not being allowed to travel abroad to receive urgent medical treatment which has caused the deaths of over 600 sick patients.

As more news comes in, as Israeli leaders give promises of moving onto a next stage in brutality, we know there are more horrors yet to come. For this we call on you to not turn your backs on us. We call on you to stand up for justice and humanity and demonstrate and support the courageous men, women and children rooted in the Gaza Strip facing the darkest of times ahead. We insist on international action:

  • Severance of diplomatic ties with Israel
  • Trials for war crimes
  • Immediate international protection of the civilians of Gaza

We call on you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign to hold this rogue state to account that is proving once again to be so violent and yet so unchallenged.

Join the growing critical mass around the world with a commitment to the day when Palestinians do not have to grow up amidst this relentless murder and destruction by the Israeli regime.

When we can move freely, when the siege is lifted, the occupation is over and the world’s Palestinian refugees are finally granted justice.

ACT NOW, before it is too late!

Signed by:

Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
University Teachers’ Association in Palestine
Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (Umbrella for 133 orgs)
General Union of Palestinian Women
Medical Democratic Assembly
General Union of Palestine Workers
General Union for Health Services Workers
General Union for Public Services Workers
General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers
General Union for Agricultural Workers
Union of Women’s Work Committees
Pal-Cinema (Palestine Cinema Forum)
Youth Herak Movement
Union of Women’s Struggle Committees
Union of Synergies—Women Unit
Union of Palestinian Women Committees
Women’s Studies Society
Working Woman’s Society
Press House
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
Gaza BDS Working Group
One Democratic State Group




Israel is quite evidently the oppressor here. It is up to them to give forgiveness to the Palestinians for any murder of an Israeli that has been committed by a Palestinian, NOT kill more innocent civilians. What is that supposed to accomplish? It is up to Israel to make amends not the other way around, though in my search for information and documentaries I have seen huge compassion and forgiveness from many Palestinians who have lost family members. My heart goes out to all those traumatized by this conflict. I am thinking of you all. I will be staging a small protest in my village and we hope that our action will spark others to do the same. Love and peace.


If the missiles stop being fired from Gaza the offensive from the IDF will stop - it really is that simple. Who is actually playing the victim here? The political leadership of the Palestinians should be brought to account for inflicting such horrible crimes on their own people in Gaza - why doesn't anyone ask these critical questions of them? They seem to be able to act with impunity in the world's eyes yet constantly only offer aggression towards the land and people of Israel...


Israel has been killing Palestinians well before Hamas existed. Israel helped create Hamas, to create a division between Palestinians. See the article below.
How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas/
Andrew Higgins
Updated Jan. 24, 2009 12:01 a.m. ET
Moshav Tekuma, Israel
Surveying the wreckage of a neighbor's bungalow hit by a Palestinian rocket, retired Israeli official Avner Cohen traces the missile's trajectory back to an "enormous, stupid mistake" made 30 years ago.
"Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel's destruction.
Instead of trying to curb Gaza's Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat's Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with "Yassins," primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.


But Lily, to start with israel have been occupying Palestine long before Hamas existed, israel have been killing the Palestinians long before Hamas was established, the israelis killed pregnant Palestinian women by slicing their stomacks so they wont give birth to a Palestinian child during their offence 1947 forty years before Hamas came to exist. Secondly, although i am not a Hamas member or vote for Hamas, i dont agree at all with all the rumours and claims that isreal created Hamas. Still there are members of Hamas in the israeli jails since 1988. All Hamas leaders were kicked from Palestine to Marj al Zohor in Libanon december 1992, and thanks for the Libanese that refused to accept them and the international pressure on israel the they were allowed to go back.So please Lily, dont listen to all you hear. It had never been favourable to israel to create or encourage Hamas.


Sure. The Palestinians are sendig their missiles on their own people in Gaza with missiles they dont have and aeroplanes they dont own. They kill women and children in Gaza, not only Gaza, the whole sector including Gaza, Khan Younes, Bet Lahia, Rafah. I never heard that if someone killed 3 people in an area that is very far from the place that israel is bombing, then the people that lives in that far away place must be punished. If the Palestinians killed, as they are accused of, then why not catch the killers and punish them as criminals. No Richard, the killers are the israelis and not the Palestinian leaders. Dont blame the people who are under occupation to fight for their rights to get rid of the occupants. it was admitted by the israelis that those who were claimed to be killed, lived in the area that not even one nation, not even the USA acknowleged as a part of israel. They were occupiers.


Are you permanently blindfolded and wearing earplugs or have you just landed from a trip to outer space?
What you are saying is totally beyond the boundaries of reality. You surely cannot believe what you are writing faced with all the evidence to the contrary. You really are in a serious state of denial.


I do not support the practice of firing rockets from Gaza into occupied Palestine but it has to be remembered that all of historic Palestine belongs to the Palestinians and not to illegal immigrants from Europe and North America. The colonialists should all go back to their home countries and leave the Palestinians free to live their lives as they wish. Then, there will be no rockets and no ethnic cleansing by illegal immigrants.
No one recognised the unilateral declaration of independence declared by Ian Smith in Rhodesia and no one should recognise ben Gurion's unilateral declaration of independence of a so-called state of israel either.
Zionists - go home, back to Eastern Europe where you all came from.


Perhaps if people begin to see the daily routine of the zionists as rockets then people will understand better what is going on there. The zionists love to count rockets. Everyday the Jews perpetrate some sort of terrorism against the Christian and Muslim Palestinians, whether its house razings, olive tree burnings, price tag terror, shootings, murder, gun butting, tear gas attacks during peaceful protests, water cannons and machine guns aimed towards fisherman, curfews, forgeries of real estate documents, check point harrassment, land theft, home theft, business theft & strangulation. All these things cause more damage than one rocket fired into the ground or into the desert by Gaza freedom fighters. These daily zionist rockets need to be counted.


You have no right to use the pictures of Dead people to inspire action, the fact that you don't think twice before publishing these pictures says that you have no respect for the Palestinian people, their bodies are a mere fuel to your "call for action"...


We need show the entire world the atrocities committed by the Israeli government.
It is not disrespect to the dead people. They suffering ended, the suffering of the Palestinian people continues. Israel has the fourth army in the entire world, and uses it to continue occupying the land of Palestinians and find excuses to kill Palestinians.


How much more disrespectful is it for the ruthless fascist Zionist military machine to deliberately deploy weapons systems from land, sea and air which are designed brutally to rip apart peoples' bodies? Disrespectful does not begin to describe the disgraceful, disgusting and appalling behavour of Netanyahu's military goons who are already trying to distance themselves from the political lunatics in Tel Aviv and their crimes against humanity. ICC the lot of them !!!


Hello sir,
We stand with Ghaza. But we even don't know how we can really help them. All the countries are silent. Is there any organization who can stop this? Let us inquire them. May we?


Palestine invaded, occupied, colonized but still rightfully Palestine. Israel is illegally occupying Palestine and must end this occupation which is the root cause of the present conflict. Israel does not want peace. Israel wants to eliminate the Palestine population and claim all their land. It is time to end the conflict and obtain justice for the Palestinians.


Choro por estas vítimas inocentes. Os isrraelitas estão a fazer aos Palestinianos o que os criminosos nazis fizeram a eles. Os isrraelitas são como os naziz, criminosos. Viva o corajoso povo Palestiniano.


I am from Vancouver,canada and I am going to a rally this satuday here in Vancouver in support of the people of Gaza.I know that the people in London ,England are doing the same.People all over the world needs to keep up the protests against the barbaric Israeli gov.


'God gave the land between the sea and the river Jordan to His Jewish people'
This is, in fact, the justification of the policy of Israel today.
But who is this God? Has anyone seen Him? Heard Him? Smelled Him?
Is he hiding? Ashamed? Ashamed of what His people are inflicting to the Palestinian people? Maybe He is at odds with Allah!? A struggle for supremacy??
I think it is time to stop relying on ancient books to justify present-day policy!


From some comments I understand that it's ok to support Israel because the Jews deserve our pity after the Second World War. It sounds to me like you are saying that it's ok for gazans to bomb Hungary after 200 years because they were mass killed by Israelis, what kind of twisted logic are we talking here. Hamas is a democratically chosen leadership born from resistance in an occupied country. Israel is an occupying state that is committing war crimes and calling it a war. Whether Jews were killed by germans 70 years ago does not make this ok!


Your idea is not wrong, but you won`t have any success, because Isreal is a kind of holy cow of the powers who conquer the world. You cannot sue the devil by going to his grandmother. Especially Angela Merkel in Germany is a puppet of America and Israel and will support Israel forever - "because of Germany`s history"!