Gaza ongoing mental health crises - Permanent Ceasefire NOW
  1. United States
  2. Calif.
  3. Letter

Gaza ongoing mental health crises - Permanent Ceasefire NOW

To: Sen. Padilla, Rep. Lee, Pres. Biden, Sen. Butler

From: A constituent in Oakland, CA

July 7

Taha and colleagues published in The Lancet in 2024: “Constant bombardment and displacement and the loss of family members are predisposing many children to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other adverse mental health conditions. In fact, a 2020 study showed that 53·5% of Gazan children had PTSD even before this conflict. Such conditions often go untreated due to a lack of awareness from health professionals, a shortage of mental health professionals, and Israeli restrictions on foreign aid. […] In Gaza, the prioritisation of more immediate crises—such as the acute shortage of lifesaving resources such as food, water, sanitation supplies, and electricity—intensifies the challenge of providing youth mental health interventions. This issue is compounded by relentless bombardment, leaving no area safe. The health system has collapsed, with psychiatric facilities damaged or depleted of medications, and internet disruptions prevent teletherapy access. For these reasons, addressing the Gazan youth mental health crisis requires ceasefire efforts that can promise residents basic physical safety.” President Biden continues to supply and fund Israel while knowing since October 2023 that Israel has been targeting civilians. This is continued participation in Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and a violation of Leahy Law, which prohibits our government from funding foreign forces who are implicated in gross human rights violations. International scholar and lawyer, Francesca Albanese, has documented how Israel’s gross human rights violations and war crimes are genocidal acts, including their targeting of hospitals and healthcare workers, targeting journalists and civilians, using starvation as a weapon, etc. Israeli government officials have repeatedly expressed genocidal intent. Israel is ignoring the I.C.J. ruling on May 24 to halt the offensive on Rafah. The U.S. continues to ignore the U.N. resolution on March 25 for a ceasefire. As people of conscience, we will not ignore this. I am demanding you to take immediate steps to stop Israel’s genocide of Palestinians by calling for 1) a total and permanent bilateral ceasefire, 2) humanitarian aid allowed to enter Gaza, 3) an end to Israel's siege on Gaza, 4) the release of all Palestinian and Israeli hostages, 5) no more weapons or funding to the Israeli military, 6) the reinstatement of U.N.R.W.A funding. A permanent ceasefire is an absolutely critical step to ensuring everlasting liberation and peace. The I.C.J. ruled that Israel should do everything in its power to prevent genocide. Never again means never again for anyone. Palestinians deserve to live with freedom and safety which means first stopping this genocide and then ensuring liberation from occupation and apartheid. The liberation and safety of Palestinians, Israelis, Jewish people, and Muslim people are intertwined. There can only be true safety when we are all free from oppression.

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