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Center for Constitutional Rights Condemns Mass Killing, Collective Punishment of Palestinian Civilians in Gaza

press@ccrjustice.org

July 16, 2014 – In response to Israel’s
ongoing bombardement of Gaza, the Center for Constitutional Rights
issued the following statement:  

We condemn in the strongest terms the Israeli government’s
indiscriminate killing and collective punishment of civilians in the
Gaza Strip and call on the Obama administration to press for an
immediate cease-fire on all sides that takes into account the need to
end the inhumane and unlawful seven-year closure of Gaza. The blockade
has resulted in severe shortages of water, food, electricity and medical
supplies, the denial of freedom of movement to the Palestinians of Gaza
and near economic collapse. As of today,
158 Palestinian civilians have been killed in this latest assault,
including 36 children and 29 women; over a thousand have been injured,
mostly civilians. A center for people with disabilities, a mosque and a
hospital have been shelled, and hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed,
causing the displacement of thousands of civilians.
 
This aggression is possible only because of unqualified U.S.
diplomatic, economic, and military support for the Israeli government’s
occupation of Palestine and apartheid policies in the region.  Last
Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution in support
of Israel’s “right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of
the State of Israel” yet made no mention of Israel’s bombardment of
Gaza, the scores of Palestinian civilians killed nor Israel’s mass
destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure and housing; a similar Senate
resolution is scheduled for committee mark up today, Wednesday, July 16.
 
Meaningful pressure by the U.S. government on Israel, including
withdrawal of its unconditional support, is the first step to stop
further senseless loss of life. But to help break the cycle of continued
occupation, repression and violence, the entire international community
must also seek meaningful accountability for the serious violations of
international law that have occurred.
Raji Sourani, Director of CCR ally organization the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, wrote
this week, “It is a constant cycle of illegality that has returned us
to this point. Illegal attacks are used to justify illegal attacks, and
on it goes. There are two constants: the continuous suffering of
civilians, and total impunity for those suspected of committing war
crimes.”  CCR joins the call for an immediate end to this vicious cycle.

The
Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and
protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys
who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit
legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law
as a positive force for social change.
 

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