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TELL THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION: HANDS OFF JERUSALEM, PROTECT PALESTINIAN RIGHTS, CONDITION US AID

Dear President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Secretary of State Blinken, 

Since the holidays of Ramadan, Passover, and Easter, converged, Israeli occupation forces have been raiding the Al Aqsa mosque, shooting tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian Muslim worshipers. Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested, many of whom are being held without charges or trial. Since April 2 when Ramadan began, at least 14 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured by Israeli forces who have been conducting middle-of-the-night raids and firing live ammunition at protesters. 

16-year-old Mohammad Zakarneh, who was leaving his work at a produce shop in the city of Jenin and heading home to break his Ramadan fast when he was shot and killed by soldiers on Sunday, April 10. That is the same day that 47-year-old Ghada Sabateen, an unarmed mother of six, widowed and blind in one eye, was shot in the leg and left to bleed to death. On Wednesday, April 13, 14-year-old Qusai Hamamrah was killed as Israeli forces used live ammunition against protestors. 

O April 19, Israeli forces attacked, rather than protected, Palestinians in the West Bank as thousands of violent extremist Israeli settlers, accompanied by far-right lawmakers, marched to the evacuated outpost of Homesh. 

Your administration's failure to reverse the Trump administration’s dangerous policies relating to Israel/Palestine is sending a message that Israel can continue to commit gross violations of Palestinian rights with impunity.  

We the undersigned condemn Israel’s current escalations and ongoing repression and ask that U.S. military aid be made contingent upon an immediate settlement freeze, lifting of the siege on Gaza, and securing equal rights for all people in the Holy Land. We ask you to immediately reverse such Trump-era policies as recognition of the Golan Heights as belonging to Israel (it doesn’t), the designation of Israeli settlements as not illegal (they are), and the (mis)labeling of products made in West Bank settlements as “Made in Israel.”

Israeli settlements are war crimes under international law. They have dispossessed Palestinians of their land, taken over natural resources, built segregated infrastructure and turned Palestine into a series of Bantustans through relentless annexation.

May 2022 will mark one year since Israel’s last all-out war on Gaza. The May 2021 11-day assault killed over 250 people, including 67 children.  Around 2,000 people were wounded as Israel bombed residential buildings, medical facilities, media centers, and vital infrastructure. That war started with Israeli repression at Al Aqsa, just like we are seeing today. Please act immediately to end Israel’s ongoing repression and stop another all-out war from breaking out. 

Sincerely,

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