1. United States
  2. Calif.
  3. Letter


To: Rep. Kamlager-Dove, Sen. Padilla, Sen. Butler, Pres. Biden

From: A verified voter in Los Angeles, CA

May 9

Israel has initiated a deadly ground invasion into Rafah, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives, including men, women, and children. Many leaders considered a Rafah incursion to be a “RED LINE” that Israel must not cross, and therefore I implore you to back the implementation of sanctions against Israel and an immediate arms embargo. There can be no delay. After issuing evacuation orders for Rafah, many Palestinians fled to Nuseirat camp, which has subsequently been shelled by Israeli military – hitting children. Israel has also besieged the Rafah crossing, the sole exit point for two million people in Gaza, which several human rights organisations liken to ‘the world’s largest concentration camp’. The spokesperson for the Gaza border crossing authority has described how Israel has “sentenced the residents of the Strip to death” by shutting the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. This is a deliberate act by Israel to stop all aid into the strip, once again irrefutably proving their desire to starve Gaza to death, which has been echoed multiple times by global humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations. It must be emphasised that this situation is a consequence of inaction. Warnings about the apartheid regime’s genocidal actions have been issued for seven months. In October 2023, hundreds of Holocaust and genocide experts (including from inside Israel) urgently appealed to the United Nations, labelling the situation as genocide. These warnings went unheeded and have enabled Israel to continue its campaign with impunity. On May 6th, Hamas accepted a ceasefire agreement brokered by regional negotiators, but Israel rejected it, citing unmet demands. The ceasefire proposal includes the release of all Israeli captives in Gaza, the establishment of a sustainable calm leading to a permanent ceasefire, Gaza’s reconstruction, and the lifting of the blockade. I will also remind you that on Oct 9th 2023, Hamas agreed to let all the hostages go, Israel declined. This latest ceasefire attempt follows a motion by the United Nations six weeks prior, which Hamas endorsed, expressing willingness to engage in immediate prisoner swaps. However, Israel’s defence minister condemned the UN decision as “scandalous”. Presently, over 3,291 Palestinians are detained in Israel without charge, and since October 7th, more than 7,350 West Bank Palestinians have been arrested. Notably, there are approximately 100 Israelis held by Hamas, along with the remains of around 30 others who are reported to have perished under Israeli bombardments. Israel will continue to breach international law unless the international community takes decisive action. Words are not enough, as the past 7 months have demonstrated. We must introduce immediate sanctions on Israel and cease all weapons sales and licenses.

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