Photos of kids who were killed

Israel again preemptively attacked Gaza from August 5 until a ceasefire was brokered by Egypt and the UN effective late on August 7.  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Occupied Palestinian territory (OHCHR oPt) confirmed a total of 46 Palestinian fatalities, including 16 children.  Additionally, it has been reported that 360 Palestinians were injured including at least 151 children, 58 women and 19 older persons.  The shelling damaged 1,761 housing units, 450 Palestinians have been internally displaced, and 8,500 people have been impacted by the damages. 

Three days of Israeli bombardment in Gaza killed at least 44 Palestinians, including 15 children. Since 2008, Israel has launched four major attacks on the Palestinian territory, killing around 4,000 people – one-quarter of them children.  This doesn’t include Gazans killed and injured by Israeli sniper fire during the Great March of Return (2018-2019). 

Israel’s attack was unprovoked.  Several days before it attacked Gaza, Israel arrested a leader in the Islamic Jihad faction in the occupied city of Jenin in the West Bank, then it shut down all crossings in and out of Gaza and cut off the entry of fuel into Gaza. This followed weeks of escalating Israeli violence in the West Bank which included ethnic cleansing, home demolitions, and the killing of Palestinians. Even though there was no Palestinian response to these provocations, Israel launched an attack on a residential area in Gaza, killing another leader with Islamic Jihad and several Palestinian civilians, including a 5-year-old girl.

In response to the killing of Khaled Mansour, a senior PIJ official, militant groups in Gaza indiscriminately fired hundreds of rockets toward Israel. Heavy exchanges of fire continued throughout August 7 when a ceasefire was negotiated.  According to the Israeli authorities, a total of 70 Israelis were injured.  Magen David Adom, the Israeli emergency and ambulance service, reported that 47 Israelis were injured.  Israeli authorities reported 70 injuries. 

This was the fifth attack on Gaza since 2008 (Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Pillar of Defense in 2012, Protective Edge in 2014, and renewed bombing in 2021).  Israel claims to have officially ended its occupation of Gaza in 2006, but in the meantime began the over 15-year blockade that controls all travel in and out of Gaza by land, sea, and air.  The import of food, medical and building supplies is restricted, and access to electricity is limited to a few hours a day. As a result of the destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure, over 90% of Gaza’s water supply is undrinkable and according to the United Nations officials, its conditions are unlivable.  

While the ceasefire is a positive and welcomed relief for Gazans, it does not solve the problem of these recurring attack that the Israeli military calls “mowing the grass.”  These incursions do not achieve any lasting security for Israelis and, of course, for Gazans.  The ceasefire doesn’t deal with the underlying problems of Israeli siege and occupation maintaining an unsustainable status quo where Palestinians are denied freedom and other basic human rights and are force to dire poverty under Israeli control.

We must be demanding accountability for the crimes Israel committed, and an immediate end to Israel’s illegal siege and occupation, so that Palestinians can be free.

Jewish Voice for Peace urges us to take the following action to call for accountability and an end to the siege of Gaza.  Take two minutes right now to call your representative and senators and demand that they denounce Israel's attacks on Gaza over the weekend, call for an end to Israel's siege, and stop funding this violence.  These are the same people who send $3.8 billion of your tax money to the Israeli military every year.  The violence on Gaza is perpetrated with weapons produce in our country.  We need hundreds of calls asking them to denounce Israeli’s latest military assault, an end to the brutal military siege of Gaza, and an end to the $3.8 billion in U.S. funding to the Israeli military. 

The security of Israelis and Palestinians is dependent on the creation of a society where the human rights of all the people of the land are respected.