YWCA statement on the situation in Palestine/Israel

YWCA statement on the situation in Palestine/Israel

YWCA of #Palestine is gravely concerned about the security situation in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and the implications mainly on women’s and children’s safety.

[The following statement was issued by the YWCA of Palestine on July 4.]

Serving Justice?

Helicopters buzz overhead all day.  Tear gas chokes the air around the Shu`fat Refugee camp as youth with stones clash with soldiers in response to more murders.  Near Beit Hanina the roads are closed or bloacked.  “Death to Arabs” was the rally cry of thousands on Jaffa Street last night seeking a lynching after the funeral of the three Israeli youth who were found dead in shallow graves on June 29.  This is on top of the burning of the homes of the families of the suspected killers in Hebron and the nightly bombings in Gaza.

Two more Palestinian youth were murdered in Shu`fat Refugee camp near Jerusalem–one was burned to death.  We are trying to keep up with the death toll during this state sanctified reign of terror.  Whole communities are in lock down or under military control while the rest of us are reliving past traumas or memories of intifadas.  Israel’s rampage is not a response to terror, nor is it a military sweep or manhunt as it also includes paramilitary settlers who act and murder with impunity.

The United Nations demand proof that the alleged suspects committed the crime or have connections to Hamas who have not claimed the murders.  On July 2, Amnesty International condemned Israel’s use of collective punishment against Palestinians.  “Justice will not be served by Israel seeking revenge by imposing collective punishment, or committing other violations of Palestinians’ rights,” the group stated.

So what would it mean for justice to be served? It would mean protecting the rights of all people especially those who are most vulnerable like our children for all life is precious. According to the Middle East Monitor, and the Palestinian Ministry of Information, 1,518 children have been killed between the year 2000 (the beginning of the second Intifada) and until 2013. This is equivalent to one Palestinian Child killed by Israel every three days for almost 13 days. The Ministry also added that since the year 2,000, almost 6,000 children have been injured, and 9,000 Palestinian children have been arrested.

Violence that targets unarmed civilians should never be condoned and should never be called for by government leaders. Justice would mean not only condemning Israel but holding it accountable to international law and human rights through all legal measures. 2014 is the year of solidarity with Palestine. Solidarity means prayers and action.

“No state and no people, regardless of their history, can be given an opt-out when it comes to international law and human rights. Justice and security are two sides of the same coin. Israel’s security can never be an excuse for violating human rights or denying justice to the Palestinian people” (Jeremy Corbynn, who Mourns For Palestinians?)

We call on you to stand in solidarity with Palestine. You can do this by signing the petition. It is really important and could use our help. Click here to find out more and sign: