For Immediate Release
Women Peace Activists Demand an End to Attacks in Gaza and Israel
WASHINGTON - MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization, condemns the growing violence that has killed at least 18 people in the past days: 15 in Gaza and three in Israel. We assert that all attacks against civilians must end immediately.
Yesterday, Israel carried out a targeted killing of Hamas leader Ahmed Al-Jaabari, in violation of international legal prohibitions on extrajudicial assassinations. Subsequent attacks brought the death toll in Gaza to 15. Reports from Gaza indicate that at least 130 people are wounded. Three Israelis have been killed in a rocket attack that collapsed part of a building.
These latest assaults come after a period of escalating attacks and tension. In the week leading up to the assassination of Jaabari, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights documented the deaths of six civilians in Gaza due to Israel’s military activity. That same week saw repeated rockets attacks from Gaza into Israel, also in violation of international law.
In January, Israel will be holding elections, and some have suggested that the assassination and airstrikes are a bid by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to galvanize his far right base. Now that a ground offensive may be imminent, many more lives are at risk.
The people of Gaza already live under a US-supported Israeli military siege that denies them basic rights, like access to clean water and medical care. The current airstrikes not only risk civilian lives, they destroy essential infrastructure in Gaza still not rebuilt from the last Israeli offensive four years ago.
Today, MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind said, “By assassinating a man who has played a central role in past ceasefire negotiations, Israel’s leaders are further foreclosing the possibility of peace. That, in fact, is the essence of Netanyahu’s election strategy. And families in Gaza are paying with their lives for his political manipulations. The Palestinian and Israeli women we work with are committed to breaking the cycle of violence and ending Israel’s occupation and siege of Gaza.”
MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25 million dollars worth of support to community-based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States. For more information about MADRE, visit our website at www.madre.org.