Instead of calling for accountability for these brutal attacks, the Biden administration has approved a new sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel, despite objections in Congress and from a wide range of human rights groups. At the same time, the Biden administration also announced it would commit just $5 million to support reconstruction in Gaza—a fraction of what is needed.
Violence escalated due to the imminent threat of forced displacement of families in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Now Israel is again moving to displace those families and to demolish other homes. Palestinian activists and journalists protesting the threatened displacements are being arrested on a mass scale in Israel, in violation of their freedom of assembly and expression. So far, at least 1500 activists have been detained with hundreds more arrests anticipated in coming weeks. These arrests are often violent. Furthermore, Israel’s raid of Al Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, which left over 300 people wounded, represented a violation of the Status Quo agreement and provided further incitement to violence.
To prevent further suffering in Palestine and Israel, Congress must:
- Explicitly speak out against the Sheikh Jarrah evictions, and sign on to HR 2590 which would end US funding for both home demolitions/displacements and the unjust military court system where many activists are being held.
- Work to ensure that the destruction and harm caused by Israel’s attacks on Gaza are addressed. This means not only committing adequate funding to help Palestinians in Gaza, but also demanding an end to the 14-year-old Gaza blockade. Without ending the blockade, Gaza cannot recover.
- Urge President Biden to tell Israel to respect the Status Quo and holy sites in Jerusalem, in order to prevent future attacks on Al Aqsa mosque.
Take immediate action and urge Congress to take these steps, in order to realize change and bring us closer to peace for all Palestinian and Israeli people.