"all is shrapnel and hunger none is safe all are waiting between wall and wait and sea and wall there is no day"
from Suheir Hammad
As of August 19th, there have been over 2,000 deaths in Gaza. Most are women and children including even unborn children. Over 10,000 have been injured.. In addition, there are approximately 450,000 displaced people from a population of mostly refugees from 1948 or 1967 which had been 1.7 million.
The ceasefire ended in the middle of families beginning to reckon with loss of family members, homes, and life. They were counting who is still alive, dead, or injured. All are damaged and traumatized. Children are still drawing pictures of the bombing or writing their names on their bodies in case they are blown up and their parents need to find their body parts. Nobody is sleeping not just because there are no beds or even houses but because you could be bombed in a minute with or without warning, and especially that Israel pulled out of the negotiations and called back its team from Egypt.
Water and electricity are scarce and many neighborhoods still have no water or electricity. As families were looking at the remnants of their houses, their neighborhoods started being bombed again, as if the earlier destruction was not enough! It is a humanitarian disaster area say relief agency leaders. And now the bombing has resumed.
As the Gazans look for safe places to shelter and take stock of what is gone or left, how are you reckoning with the killing of civilians? How are you reckoning with your country's complicity in selling arms? Your country's blocking of criminal charges at the international court of justice? Your country's support of Israel's right to security or defense at the cost of massive civilian deaths or Palestine’s right to self defense as an occupied people?
Is it proportionate and legitimate to decimate whole neighborhoods like Shujaiya? Or bomb hospitals and UN shelters? Is it proportionate and legitimate to target journalists and healthcare workers? Use banned weapons that blow people to bits? The day of reckoning is upon us. What are you going to do as a person, as YWCA's, as women organizations, as human rights organizations and individuals, as a faith communities, churches, community leaders and as a citizens of the world?
We, here at the YWCA of Palestine, ask you to stand with the people of Gaza by taking the following actions:
- Call on your governments to convene the Security Council and to find a lasting, sustainable and just solution to the Palestinian problem.
- Immediately and urgently support the lifting of the siege on Gaza;
- Support arms and trade embargos and other actions related to the BDS global movement;
- Support Palestinians taking Israel to the Criminal Court of Justice for war crimes.
- Support the protection of women and children in compliance with UNSCR1325
- Support the YWCA of Palestine's work with refugee women through our Fabric of Our Lives Project
There can be No Peace and Justice Until and Unless
The Israeli Occupation of All Palestinian Territories Ends
20th of August, 2014