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MADRE Mourns the Death of Palestinian and Israeli Children and Calls for an End to Violence

Posted on: Thursday, July 3, 2014

Keywords: Middle East, Palestine, Peace Building

Update (July 10, 2014): The news is worse. Rocket attacks from Gaza and bombings from Israel have plunged communities into new violence. More than 80 people in Gaza are reported killed by Israeli airstrikes, and people in Israel are forced to take refuge in bomb shelters from rocket attacks. While families in Israel have access to first responders and medical care, Gazan families are suffering from severe shortages of medicines and emergency medical supplies. MADRE supports the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, which provides lifesaving care through its clinics and by sending out emergency rescue teams. Join us -- click here to send emergency aid to Gaza.

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July 3, 2014

Just yesterday, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was found dead in East Jerusalem, the victim of a suspected revenge attack for the recent murders of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. MADRE mourns the death of all of these children—and of every person killed in the ongoing violence. We strongly condemn these brutal acts of murder.

As Israelis and Palestinians grieve, their leaders have fomented new waves of tension and violence. Aggressive and destructive surveillance in the West Bank by the Israeli military, including violent searches, raids and hundreds of arrests; the launch of dozens of rockets from Gaza into southern Israel; the Israeli bombing raids on Gaza; and the mobilization of Israeli troops along that border will only bring more civilian deaths, including children. The violence must stop.

There are no political circumstances that justify the murder of children.

From a moral and rights-based perspective, condemnation is easy. But ending the violence requires understanding it. To do that, we must consider the root causes and context of the killing on both sides, namely, Israel's occupation of Palestine.

For more than four decades, Israel has systematically violated the human rights of Palestinians, in an assertion of control over territory unlawfully seized in war. The daily enforcement of the occupation’s violent and dehumanizing tactics is the root cause for the tensions, killing and insecurity that persists today.

In order to end this violence, to secure peace and justice, and to ensure that not another child--Palestinian or Israeli--is made a victim, Israel must end their occupation of Palestinian territories.

MADRE reaffirms its commitment to supporting both Palestinians and Israelis who are working towards peace, like our partners at Midwives for Peace, who understand that all children deserve to live in safety.

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