Kucinich Resolution calling for cease-fire in Gaza
January 9, 2009
As the number of causalities in Gaza continues to climb to well over 750 deaths and more than 3000 injured in just two weeks, it is imperative that we focus on the humanitarian crisis that is growing every day. I ask that you support a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and unrestricted humanitarian access in Gaza.
The Washington Post and New York Times have reported that aid agencies such as International Committee of the Red Cross and Medicine without Borders are unable to reach even the most desperate victims.
The United Nations has been forced to suspend all aid operations in Gaza following attacks on its facilities and personnel who were trying to provide aid. The UN is reporting that more than one-third of the deaths are civilians and that 1000 of the 3000 injured are children. One day after the bombing of a UN school that killed 42 civilians, at least 30 people–including children–were found dead four days after a house where they were told to seek shelter by Israeli Defense Forces was bombed.
Nearly the entire population has had no access to water or electricity since the beginning of the blockade in February of 2006. As of January 2, 2009, hospitals in Gaza have been without electricity, forcing them to run on back-up generators that are reportedly on the verge of collapse. Not only are doctors unable to cope with the number of injured, but these hospitals also lack the most basic necessities, such as gauze and medicine. Access to medical supplies and food is protected by the Geneva Conventions.
We should oppose Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. And we should oppose Israel’s military response. But we should, first and foremost, stand for an end to the humanitarian crisis this conflict is creating. If you would like to be an original cosponsor of the resolution, please contact Diala Jadallah in my office at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> or 5-5871. A draft is included below.
Dennis J. Kucinich
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives concerning the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Whereas over 95 percent of the deaths incurred since the escalation of violence in Gaza beginning December 27, 2008, have been Palestinians;
Whereas over 50 percent of the population of Gaza is under the age of 14;
Whereas on January 7, 2009, the United Nations found that one-third of the Palestinians killed in Gaza were civilians, while over 1,000 of the injured are children;
Whereas on January 6, 2009, 40 civilians were killed and 55 civilians were injured when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombed two United Nations facilities, including a school, where Palestinians were seeking shelter;
Whereas nearly the entire population of Gaza has no access to potable water or functioning water systems, and sewage and wastewater systems have seized due to lack of water and electricity, causing sewage overflows in some residential neighborhoods, creating a public health crisis, according to the World Bank;
Whereas since the beginning of the Israeli imposed blockade in February 2006, approximately 262 Palestinians in Gaza have died due to lack of access to medical goods and aid, according to Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative;
Whereas on January 7 and 8, 2009, the International Committee of the Red Cross found a total of up to 65 bodies in two separate locations, both of which included a number of emaciated children , in houses bombed in the south of Gaza after four days of lack of ambulance access;
Whereas the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the International Committee of the Red Cross have completely halted all aid shipments, following the death of two United Nations aid truck drivers; and
Whereas Articles 55 and 56 of the 4th Geneva Convention require ”ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population” and ”ensuring and maintaining…the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene”: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives calls on the Government of Israel and representatives of Hamas to implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and to allow unrestricted humanitarian access in Gaza.