"The Crisis in Gaza" - a WILPF Declaration

"The Crisis in Gaza" - a WILPF Declaration

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section (WILPF US), having considered reports of an escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza including Israel's continuing siege, deprivation, bombardment, and military assault upon the citizens of Gaza resulting in civilian deaths and countless injuries during the past months and that indiscriminate random rocket attacks have been launched from Gaza into Israel resulting in a number of injuries to Israeli citizens;

Taking note of statements by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that "Gaza's border closures are without precedent," leaving Palestinians "effectively incarcerated...without fuel and spare parts, public health conditions are declining steeply as water and sanitation services struggle to function. The electricity supply is sporadic,"

Recalling UNICEF's statement that…"the supply of safe water to...Palestinians (is threatened)...hospitals are paralysed by power failures and the shortage of fuel for generators...the possibility of (hospital equipment) repair or maintenance (are limited) as spare parts are not available...treatment (is) delayed or denied, worsening medical conditions are causing preventable deaths,"

1. Welcomes efforts by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCR) to call for a cease fire by all parties and an end to the blockade and siege of Gaza and the resolution passed by the UN Security Council on January 23, 2008 calling upon the international community "to ensure unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people and to open the border crossings to facilitate the passage of exports and imports to the Gaza Strip.";

2. Applauds the international NGO community for organizing a convoy which will bring humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza this week;

3. Calls upon the government of the United States to press Israel to end its hostile armed assaults on Gaza and its life threatening practices which prevent the people of Gaza from meeting their basic human needs;

4. Calls upon those in Gaza who are responsible to cease rocket attacks into Israeli territory.

The above statement was written by Joan Drake and initially adopted by members at a regional gathering in Philadelphia on January 26, 2008. Upon the recommendation of the Middle East Campaign leadership team, it has been adopted by the U.S. Section.

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