Posted on May 14, 2018


News sources report that, at least, 52 Gazans (including children, a paramedic, and a disabled person) were killed today along the fence that separates Gaza and Israel, as Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition into crowds of unarmed protesters. Many more were injured, reportedly including nine journalists.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous, reporting from Gaza on Democracy Now! shared that “tens of thousands” of protesters – men, women, and children – gathered along the entire length of the Gaza Strip with Israeli soldiers literally “picking people off,” and even those not near the fence being shot. Kouddous witnessed no threat to the Israeli military, and no Israeli soldier has been injured during the six weeks of Gaza protests.

Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East stated today, “This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way. This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be willful killings constituting war crimes.” Amnesty International has recently called for an arms embargo to Israel because of Israel’s military actions against Gaza protesters.

B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, wrote today, “The fact that live gunfire is once again the sole measure that the Israeli military is using in the field evinces appalling indifference towards human life on the part of senior Israeli government and military officials.” B’Tselem has called for Israeli soldiers in the field to refuse to comply with “manifestly unlawful open-fire orders.”

All of this has occurred while a short distance away in Jerusalem, U.S. and Israeli government administrations celebrated the opening today of the American Embassy in the city, amidst widespread condemnation from throughout the world.

Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere are fighting for their basic human rights under international law and for their lives. We must stand with them.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives in Congress now! Tell them they must speak out publicly and clearly against these Israeli military attacks on unarmed protesters in Gaza. They must demand U.S. investigation into the use of U.S. funded arms and equipment to support these Israeli attacks on Gaza protesters and media, and they must demand accountability. Finally, ask your members of Congress to continue to affirm that Jerusalem is a universal city that must be reserved for all of the world’s citizens and where the rights of its Palestinian inhabitants under international law must be fully restored.

Cindy and Craig Corrie
On behalf of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice