Three quick and easy actions you can take on the killings in Gaza
We have been watching with horror the killing and wounding of Palestinian protesters in Gaza over the last six weeks, culminating on Monday with the bloodiest day in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014. 104 Palestinians, including 12 children, have been killed by the Israeli military. A further 12,600 have been wounded, many with life-changing injuries. This number now exceeds the approximately 11,000 injured in 2014.
The peaceful, nonviolent Great March of Return by Palestinians to mark 70 years since the Nakba has been met with overwhelmingly disproportionate violence by the Israeli military, including the illegal use of live gunfire on unarmed civilians.
At the same time, the US administration has become the first country to formally recognise Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem as it moves its embassy and recognises the holy city as the capital of Israel.
Here are three quick and easy actions you can take today to stand in solidarity with Palestinians facing extreme violations of their human rights:
Write to your elected representative
Please write urgently to your MP (in the UK) or TD (in Ireland) asking them to join calls to investigate the killings, to urge the Israeli government to stop its illegal use of live gunfire on unarmed civilians, and to call for an end to arms sales to Israel.
You can find a template email below. Please amend the text in red depending on if you live in the UK or Ireland. You can find out how to contact your MP or TD on the UK Parliament website or on the Who is my TD? website.
Share the news
Help raise awareness about the situation in Gaza and the rest of occupied Palestine on social media and talk about it with your family, friends, and colleagues. You could share some of the many public statements that have been published in recent days, including from our partners:
- Quakers in Britain – Quakers condemn provocative US embassy move and Gaza killings should be investigated, say Quakers
- Christian Aid – Christian Aid deplores senseless Gaza deaths
- CAFOD – CAFOD expresses horror at loss of life in Gaza
- Trocaire – How do we keep hope alive in Gaza?
- Pax Christi International: PCI urges international community to commemorate and reflect with Palestinians on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba
Church of Scotland: CofS urges end to violence on Israel border with Gaza
The rate of casualties has stretched healthcare services in Gaza to breaking point. The World Health Organisation has said these services are now “on the brink of collapse” and are struggling to cope with the devastating injuries the violence has caused. Hospitals are close to running out of all supplies. EAPPI does not have a programme on the ground in Gaza but please consider donating to one of the many organisations who do provide vital healthcare services there. This includes our friends at Medical Aid for Palestinians who are currently running an emergency appeal to respond to the killing and injuring of the protesters in Gaza.
Thank you, as ever, for your support.
Suggested draft letter
Dear [elected representative],
I am writing as your constituent to express my deep concern about the killing and wounding of Palestinian protesters in Gaza by the Israeli military.
Over 100 protesters have been killed and thousands injured since Palestinians in Gaza began their six-week Great March of Return on March 30. The number of injuries now exceeds those wounded in Operation Protective Edge in 2014. This nonviolent, civil society-led protest seeks to draw attention to the forced expulsion and fleeing of Palestinians from their land when the state of Israel was created in 1948.
The use of live gunfire on unarmed civilians is illegal under international law. As an Occupying Power, the Israeli government has a clear obligation under the Fourth Geneva Convention to protect civilians living in the territory it occupies.
The Great March of Return follows a long tradition of nonviolent protest, including Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington and Gandhi’s Salt March. Palestinians have a right to protest against the ongoing 50-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. I hope you will support their efforts to exercise this right.
As your constituent, I ask that you:
- Write to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary [UK] / Taoiseach and Foreign Minister [Ireland] urging them to support the UN General-Secretary’s call for an independent investigation into the killings, to publicly condemn the US administration’s provocative and illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to call on the Israeli government to stop its use of live gunfire on unarmed civilians;
- Submit written and oral parliamentary questions on what actions the British/Irish government will take to ensure accountability for the killings;
- Publicly call for an end to arms sales to Israel.
Please take urgent action. I look forward to your response.
[your name + your full home address. Parliamentary protocol requires elected representatives to know this before answering emails in order to ensure they are corresponding with a constituent]