PCUSA Statement on Events in Palestine

by Peace and Solidarity Commission

PCUSA stands in Solidarity with the Palestinian People’s Resistance against Israel’s Annexation Plan and Crimes Against Humanity

The people in the occupied Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza are facing a new wave of brutal aggression by Israel apartheid regime. On the night of May 10, 2021, Israeli military forces launched series of airstrikes in Gaza massacring 28 people– including ten children. The youngest victim of this Israeli crimes against humanity was 10-years-old. The aggression comes as a further blow to the people in Gaza who are already reeling under devastating humanitarian crisis due to the ongoing land-air-sea blockade and continuous bombings by Israel that has destroyed Gaza’s most of the vital infrastructures.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has warned of a full force attack on Gaza, with Defense Minister Benny Gantz mobilizing thousands of reserve troops. Netanyahu, who is already facing massive corruption scandal and electoral crisis, had been long unleashing violent acts against Palestinians to woo the country’s right-wing sections in his favour. He had already announced a full-scale plan to annex over 30% areas of West Bank, particularly in the Jordan Valley. The proposed annexation will mostly be in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where most of the illegal Israeli settlements have been built.

The airstrike comes in the background of growing resistance by Palestinians against Israel’s annexation move in Sheikh Jarrah, locality in the occupied East Jerusalem. Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood has more than 3,000 Palestinian families who face constant violence by illegal Israeli settlers, and evictions and destruction of property by Israeli forces.

On May 7, worshippers gathered at the al-Aqsa mosque expressed their solidarity with the families who were threatened with eviction in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhoods. The Israeli forces stormed the mosque and brutally attacked people who were inside the compound, lobbing tear-gas and firing rubber bullets.Since then, Israeli forces have escalated their violence inside the mosque and against the protests by Palestinians demanding end to the illegal annexations and military occupation. Armed Israeli settlers have also been given free hand by Israeli military forces to attack Palestinians. More than 700 Palestinians have been injured in Israeli attacks in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem since last Friday. The annexation plan by Israel is a clear act of ethnic cleansing and eliminating the presence of Palestinian population for their own land.

For all of the above reasons, United Nations peacekeeping forces need to be dispatched to Palestine immediately to enforce the United States Declaration of Human Rights of which the United States is a signatory. The Palestinian people must be protected from further war crimes and crimes against humanity. The annexation of Palestinian land must stop NOW!

The United States had played a crucial role in supporting the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and was one of the first counties to sever trade relations with the apartheid regime and subsequently imposed wide ranging embargo on South Africa. Our nation’s government must do no less in the face of Israeli apartheid against the Palestinian people. The need of the hour is that the International community must impose a military embargo on Israel’s apartheid regime and stop enabling Israel’s brutal siege of Gaza and mass crimes against Palestinians through their support of Israel’s military industry.

As the Palestinians continue to resist the Israeli brutality, apartheid and military occupation, the PCUSA reiterates its complete solidarity with the people of Palestine and their struggle for liberation. We also reiterate our support for strengthening the global Palestinian call of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

For peace, equality, and human solidarity,
Peace & Solidarity Commission

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