Four Palestinians, ages 13-19, have been executed in less than 32 hours. Over 500 have been injured just since Saturday, October 3rd. More than 40 have been shot with live ammunition while another 150 or more shot with rubber bullets. Fourteen ambulances have been attacked. It is for all these reasons that the Red Crescent has declared a "state of emergency." We call it the Endless State of Emergency.
The YWCA of Palestine mourns the loss of all these lives. Many of those killed were innocent of the alleged crimes they were said to have committed. They were children coming home from school like 13 year old Abed Al-RahamObeidallah who was shot in the Aida Refugee Camp or Hadeel Al-Hashlamon, an 18 year old young woman trying to cross the Hebron checkpoint. She was shot 10 times and left to bleed out. Later her ambulance was met by her father, the doctor on duty on the eve of the Jewish Holiday, the Atonement or what Jews call Yom Kippurwho had to pronounce the death of his own daughter. In one case one of the alleged "terrorists", Fadi Alloun, 19 years old, was goinghome and was gunned down by the police in Jerusalem when he approached them for help against an angry mob of settlers calling, "Death for Arabs" in Jerusalem.
In addition to this recent violence, holy sites have been under attack including a fire up in the Galilee at the church known for Jesus' miracle with loaves and fishes and Al-Aqsa. Al-Aqsa has been stormed many times over the past few weeks by settlers and soldiers and Muslims have been denied their right to worship.
We are more than deeply concerned about this escalation of violence which many feel is fueled by the newly elected extreme right wing government whose Prime Minister, Netanyahu, has just declared "a war to the death against Palestinian terrorism."
Whether or not this is the beginning of an intifada, it is definitely a deepening of an entrenched military occupation which acts with impunity and settler colonial policies like theongoing settlement buildingswhich areagainst international laws.
On this one year anniversary of our historic conference on UNSCR 1325, where we celebrated women's rights to freedom, peace, and dignity, we implore you to stay steadfast to your commitments to act for justice and peace. We need more than your tears of sorrow and outrage. We need you to act to hold Israel accountable and to defend Palestinian civil and international rights.
- Support Palestinian rights to nonviolent resistance.
- Demand that all holy sites be respected and protected.
- Use your economic leverage to support the BDS global movement.
- Hold Israel accountable for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
- End arms trades and unconditional military and diplomatic aid.
The YWCA of Palestine
7th of October, 2015