November 16th, 2012 16:45 EST
Demonstrators Call on President Obama, Israel, Hamas to End Escalating Violence
This Saturday November 17th at 4pm an emergency Gaza protest will be held at the Statehouse calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Escalating violence in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militants took a decided turn for the worse on Wednesday as Israel broke a tenuous truce and assassinated Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in a string of airstrikes in Gaza. Hamas and Palestinian militant groups have retaliated by firing rockets deep into Israel, including at Tel Aviv. Over twenty Palestinians including children have been killed in the ensuing Israeli airstrikes and ; three Israeli civilians were killed when rockets launched by Palestinian militants struck an apartment in Israel, the first Israeli civilian fatalities from rocket attacks this year. Israeli troops are massing on the border with Gaza and a ground invasion
"It is well-known that Israel`s targeted killings of Palestinian militants in Gaza provoke rocket attacks in retaliation," say Carolina Peace Resource Center President David Matos, who has traveled to Israel/Palestine twice on peace missions. Israel deliberately escalated the violence by carrying out this targeted assassination ." At the same time, Matos notes that an all out war in Gaza will be literal murder on both Israeli and Palestinian civilians caught in the cross-fire; it will take de-escalation on both sides to avoid that disaster.
While the parties on the ground must de-escalate to avert further bloodshed, the US has considerable influence over Israel via the over $3 billion in military aid the US furnishes Israel every year.
We call on President Obama to pressure Israel to stop its escalations and step back from the brink of war," says Matos. If President Obama goes along with more violence, blood will be on his hands."
Institute for Middle East Understanding Timeline of Escalating Violence
The Carolina Peace Resource Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1981 in Columbia, SC to promote peace through education, action and advocacy.