3rd Thursday Alert: Tell the Administration to stop enabling attacks on Palestinians

3rd Thursday Alert: Tell the Administration to stop enabling attacks on Palestinians

Various actions and inactions taken by Israeli military and police forces and Israeli settlers in recent weeks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have caused more suffering and a further deterioration of relations between Israeli and Palestinians.  This is a matter of grave concern to people of faith as lamented by the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem late last month.

During the first month and half of 2023, Israeli forces killed 50 Palestinians, including 11 children and one woman, with January being the deadliest month for Palestinians in nearly a decade.  According to the United Nations, in the last twenty days of January “six Israelis and a foreign national were killed and 441 Palestinians and nine Israelis, including one member of Israeli forces, were injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”  A joint report by several Palestinian groups said that Israeli forces detained 598 Palestinians, including 99 children and eight women in January.

B’Tselem has documented approximately 124 attacks during November and December 2022 and January 2023 by Israeli settlers on Palestinian homes, passengers in cars, and agricultural and non-agricultural lands.  The Israeli government needs to take steps to stop these reprehensible incidents rather than continuing to stand idly by.

In their 2022 Christmas Message, the Patriarchs and heads of Churches in Jerusalem have spoken out about settler and related attacks:

In recent years, these Christians have increasingly faced assaults on their Free Exercise of Religion, including attacks against their person, defamation of their churches and cemeteries, unwarranted restrictions against their attendance in worship, and legal threats against their possession and management of church properties.

During the past month settlement construction authorizations and the “legalization” of outposts, all of which are illegal under international law, have been proposed.

The sum of all these events has resulted in increased dismay and anger among those concerned for peace with justice between the two peoples.  The U.S. must take concrete steps to reverse the direction of current Israeli policy and practices and restore observance of internationally-recognized human rights.

Call on the Biden administration to stop being an enabler of this oppressive and often deadly environment by substituting rhetorical admonitions with concrete responses, including reducing military assistance.