National Lawyers Guild
November 19, 2012
The National Lawyers Guild calls for an immediate halt to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and demands that the U.S. government immediately cease all aid to Israel.
The NLG calls for further action by the U.N. Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council to protect the civilian population of Gaza, to oppose the bombardment, and to oppose any further escalation.
"Israel cannot rely on the cloak of self-defense to justify these ongoing attacks," said NLG President Azadeh Shahshahani. "Occupying and settling Palestinian land by force, enforcing a blockade and siege of Gaza, assassinating Palestinian leaders, and periodically bombarding and invading both Gaza and the West Bank make Orwellian the Israeli governmentís claims of self-defense. And yet the U.S. government trumpets this narrative, giving Israel carte blanche to go on killing Palestinian civilians."
A timeline of events contradicts official Israeli government reports that cite Palestinian rocket fire as the first breach of the recently brokered ceasefire and the justification for Israeli attacks on Gaza.
"Not only did this siege not begin with Palestinian aggression, but the laws of war and the Fourth Geneva Convention bar collective punishment and the targeting of civilian populations, which is clearly Israelís chosen course of action," said Andrew Dalack, Co-Chair of the NLGís Free Palestine Subcommittee. "The Human Rights and Security Assistance Act mandates that the United States cease all military aid to Israel because of its consistent pattern of human rights violations."
The Palestine Center for Human Rights reported Monday that 87 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli bombardment, including 58 civilians. The Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated places in the world, and Israelís latest bombardment has trapped the occupied territory's inhabitants in a warzone. The situation echoes Operation Cast Lead four years ago, an Israeli military campaign which killed 1,400 Gaza residents, a majority of whom were civilians.
The NLG reaffirms its resolutions to boycott Israel and to support the plight of Palestinians locked inside Israeli prisons.
The National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has members in every state.
REFERENCE: Download Gaza White Paper on Legal Issues from 2009, developed by the NLG and IADL: http://www.nlginternational.org/report/WHITEPAPER_ON_GAZA.pdf
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