3rd Thursday Alert: Write Secretary of State Blinken to take concrete actions against Israeli impunity in the Occupied Territories
The shooting death last week in Jenin, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, of Ms. Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American journalist, followed by the extremely disrespectful attack on her funeral procession have shocked the Palestinian community and the rest of the world.
The acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca, in expressing shock over both events, called “… for an independent international investigation of the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh” and for holding accountable to the full extent of the law those responsible for her death. Rev. Sauca’s call is consistent with the sentiment of so many in Israel/Palestine and globally, including the Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres, the press statement of the UN Security Council, and the statement issued by the YWCA of Palestine.
These acts by Israeli police and military are indicative of a culture of impunity that has become normalized with regard to Israel’s conduct in the Occupied Territories, whether in relation to these incidents or in regard to the ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes, as is currently underway at Masafer Yatta and elsewhere. The culture of impunity is also evident in settler attacks on Palestinians while Israeli forces do little or nothing to prevent or stop them. Acts of violence involving individuals, groups, and states must end and those responsible must be held accountable.
The U.S. government must monitor and track gross human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces and police such as these and ensure that U.S. military and financial assistance which is provided to the Government of Israel is used in accordance with internationally recognized human rights standards and US laws. Tell Secretary Blinken, instead of issuing statements, it is high time for the U.S. government to create specific, concrete actions against impunity when these standards are not upheld, as in these instances last week.