Bat Shalom statement about the recent crisis in Gaza
published in Haaretz on 20/6/07
At this time of a humanitarian disaster which has followed the turmoil in the Gaza Strip, we, women of the Bat Shalom Movement, call upon the government of Israel to recognize its part in the creation of the crisis in the Gaza Strip. The serious crisis is the direct result of the Israeli unilateral disengagement in August, 2005, and the ceaseless blockade of the Gaza Strip.
We demand that the government of Israel refrain from any military action in the Gaza Strip. Such an action would condemn both Israelis and Palestinians to further disaster.
We call on the government of Israel to permit the passage of humanitarian aid to the residents, to insure the continuation of the supply of water, electricity, fuel, gas and other essential services, and to allow the passage of refugees who wish to go from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank
Any other behavior would be collective punishment of the residents of Gaza strip.
We call upon the international community to intervene in order to bring about:
- The withdrawal of Israel from all of the Occupied Palestinian Territories;
- The reopening of diplomatic negotiations for a permanent settlement on the basis of the peace initiative of the Arab League;
- Generating degrees of trust aimed at the Palestinians: the easing of restrictions on movement, the removal of barriers and checkpoints, the freezing of all building in the Jewish settlements, and the release of the Palestinian tax monies collected by Israel and held illegally;
- International protection and guarantees for guarding the human rights of the Palestinians in all of the occupied territories, including the Gaza Strip;
- The guarantee of a comprehensive political agreement on the future of Gaza strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem as one national unit.
Only a diplomatic process that brings with it the termination of Israeli control of the occupied territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel within the demarcation lines of the 4th of June 1967 will insure peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians, and for all those who live in this region.