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Darkness in Gaza Wont Bring Light to Sderot Crisis

ACRI: Darkness in Gaza Won't Bring Light to Sderot Crisis

1.5 million Gaza civilians being held hostage in a conflict beyond their control

JERUSALEM – January 23, 2007 – With its decision to cut the Gaza Strip's fuel and food supply and close the crossings into the area last week (with the exception of a fuel and aid delivery yesterday and limited emergency shipments), the Israeli government is imposing collective punishment on Gaza’s 1.5 million residents. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) strongly condemns the blockade: sweeping sanctions against an entire population constitute an extreme violation of international law, which prohibits collective punishment. In addition, denying a civilian population of its basic human needs is unequivocally immoral.

With the blockade causing a shortage of electricity, heat, food, and other basic supplies and curtailing medical services, the residents of Gaza are being held hostage in a violent conflict beyond their control. The residents of Sderot and the Gaza-border communities, too, are victims of a violent conflict – their lives paralyzed by an ongoing barrage of Kassam rockets from Gaza for years.

ACRI calls on Israel not to attempt to resolve the ongoing crisis in Sderot with collective punishment on Gaza’s residents. ACRI condemns all violent attacks and humanitarian sanctions on civilians.

Just as in any instance of collective punishment, in Gaza, the most vulnerable are suffering most acutely: the sick, the poor, women and children – and not those responsible for shooting rockets on Sderot.

ACRI calls on Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza immediately.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is Israel's leading human and civil rights organization and the only one that deals with the entire spectrum of rights and liberties in Israel and the Occupied Territories. ACRI works to defend the rights of all through three parallel channels: litigation and legal intervention, education, and public outreach. Visit ACRI online at www.acri.org.il.


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