On Monday, May 14, as the Trump administration was dedicating the opening of its new embassy in Jerusalem, the Israeli military used deadly force against unarmed Palestinian civilians who were marching toward the Gaza border with Israel. On that deadly day, more than 60 Palestinians were killed and several thousand were injured, with many of the wounds being catastrophic in nature.
Palestinians have been protesting close to the Gaza-Israel border for several weeks, demanding the opening of a crossing to allow Palestinians the right of movement and to allow for critically-needed supplies to enter Gaza. Israeli snipers have responded with deadly force, killing scores of unarmed civilians, including many women and children.
The injuries suffered show the use of ammunition designed to inflict maximum tissue and organ damage. Evidence shows that hundreds of Palestinians, especially young men, have had their limbs targeted, leading to amputations, in a military tactic designed to reduce the able-bodied population of Gaza.
The Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been emboldened by the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the so- called Iran nuclear deal, attacking Syria an hour after the announcement, and similarly intensifying its actions against Gaza at the very moment the United States was dedicating its new embassy in Jerusalem.
The Trump administration has not only resisted any efforts to implore the Israeli forces to exercise restraint, it has failed even to express regret for the loss of Palestinian life. If anything, the Trump administration has placed all blame for Israeli killing Palestinians on HAMAS.
Gaza has a 45 percent unemployment rate. Electricity is only provided for a maximum of four hours a day. Nearly half the child population suffers from anemia. Access to clean water is heavily restricted. Gazans have no free access to their coastline, including the ability to fish, either for consumption or commercial sale.
Some have described Gaza as an open-air prison; the bleak conditions are merely a continuation of over 50 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
Therefore, MCHR calls for the condemnation of the violence and senseless loss of life in Gaza.
MCHR also calls for the Trump administration to insist that the Israel government and military suspend their practice of targeting civilians with disproportionate and deadly force that is longstanding policy regarding the Palestinians.
In addition, MCHR calls for the Trump administration to end its opposition to the UN Security Council’s calls for an independent investigation into the Gaza situation.
Finally, MCHR calls for the immediate resumption of humanitarian aid to Gaza as the population suffers from life threatening shortages of basic food and medical supplies.
About Michigan Coalition for Human Rights
Michigan Coalition for Human Rights promotes awareness of, commitment to, and advocacy for human rights and the environmental rights of planet Earth through education, community organization and action. MCHR opposes forces that suppress human dignity, freedom and justice — locally and around the world. More information at MCHR.org.