Since July 8, 2014, Israel had launched an intense and disproportionate bombing campaign and ground incursion of the Gaza Strip, "Operation Protective Edge."
In Gaza, 1.7 million Palestinians live in what is often referred to as an "open-air prison." All of Gaza’s borders are restricted, including the side bordering the Mediterranean Sea, which is controlled by Israel. Israel has imposed an eight-year blockade on Gaza, making it extremely difficult and even impossible for Palestinians to go in and out of the Gaza Strip. Access to water, electricity, and basic goods have also been extremely limited.
In the latest operation, approximately 500 Palestinians have been killed thus far, the vast majority of which are civilians, including children and women. Thousands have been injured. About 20 Israeli soldiers have been killed.
Israel has dropped bombs on civilian homes in Gaza, killing entire families. Schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers have also been attacked, killing students, doctors, and disabled patients.
Thousands of Palestinians have been left displaced and homeless due to of the damage to their homes from Israeli airstrikes. Electrical damage from the attacks has further crippled already inconsistent access to electricity in Gaza.
Our AFSC staff in Gaza is calling on us to help. Please take action to support human rights and end Israel’s impunity:
1. Call on U.S. government officials to stop supporting Israel’s crimes with our tax dollars.
- Contact President Obama at (202) 456-1111 and the State Department at (202) 647-4000. Demand that they immediately withdraw U.S. military aid from Israel and call on Israel to immediately end its attacks.
- Call your U.S. Senators and ask that Congress demand an end to the siege of Gaza. If you're from Illinois, call Senator Dick Durbin at his DC office at (202) 224-2152 and his Chicago office at (312) 353-4952. If you're outside of Illinois, please look up your state senator and ask the same. You can find contact info for senators here.
- If you live in Iowa, please call Sen. Grassley at 202-224-6342 and Sen. Harkin at 202-224-3254.
2. Call the Egyptian Embassy at (202) 895-5400 and demand they open the Rafah border for injured Palestinians in need of urgent medical care.
3. Support the Palestinian call to boycott and divest from companies that support Israel’s human rights abuses.
- Call Boeing. Boeing provides Israel with F-15A fighter jets and Apache AH 64 helicopters to attack Gaza. Boeing’s headquarters are located in Chicago. Contact Boeing at (312) 544-2140 and demand they stop giving Israel weapons to use against civilians in Gaza.
- Click here to see other corporations that are involved in the current attacks on Gaza. If you live near an office of any of these companies, call and/or organize a protest.
Together, if we all take action, we can make a difference for the people of Gaza. Thank you for your help.
Peace and solidarity,
Chicago AFSC Middle East Program