Emergency Protests Against Israel's Collective Punishment of Gaza and the West Bank and its Violence Against Palestinian Youth

On Saturday, July 5, over 30 people gathered in Omaha at the intersection of 72nd and Dodge. St. to demand an end to Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians and fair and accurate media coverage of Israeli violence against Palestinian youth. 

On Monday, July 7, over 20 Iowans gathered outside the US Federal Building in Des Moines to call on Senators Grassley and Harkin to take immediate steps to end funding to Israel while it continues to bombard the people of Gaza and engages in raids on West Bank communities.  The recent murder of three Israeli youth is an outrage and a crime demanding attention and justice. Israel's violence against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza constitute collective punishment, which is itself a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.  Iowans called on the US government to stop using our tax dollars to fund Israel's war crimes.

Reports from Amnesty International notes that Israel's illegal collective punishment includes the killing of at least six Palestinians (including one child), administrative detention of hundreds of Palestinians without charge, and nearly one hundred air attacks on the Gaza Strip. 

The US supports Israel with $3 billion in military aid annually.  Israel's use of military aid to attack civilian populations violates the US Arms Export Act and Foreign Assistance Act.

By Katie Huerter, AFSC Iowa Middle East Peace Intern. For Rodger Routh's video coverage of the Des Moines vigil, click here. For a set of photos, click here. AFSC's latest statement is here.