ATFP Calls for Immediate Cease-Fire Between Israel and Gaza
Nov. 18, Washington DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today urged the US government and all concerned parties to spare no effort in securing a cease-fire between Israeli forces and militant groups in Gaza. Palestinian sources say at least 72 Palestinians, many of them civilians and some children, have been killed in Israeli attacks since the latest round of violence began following Israel's assassination of Hamas' military commander Ahmed al-Jabari last Wednesday. Israeli sources say over 900 missiles or projectiles have been launched at Israel from Gaza over the past few days, with at least three Israeli civilians killed and many more injured.
Concerns are rising that Israeli forces are preparing for a potential wide-ranging ground intervention into the Gaza Strip, which could cost many more lives. ATFP strongly urged the Obama administration to work with regional allies, including Egypt, to de-escalate tensions and secure an immediate cease-fire between the parties.
ATFP Pres. Ziad Asali said, "We have witnessed this scenario before, and the lessons of the past are clear. There is no military solution to this conflict. Israel cannot achieve security for its people through military interventions, nor can it break the will of the Palestinian people to live in freedom. The Palestinian cause gains nothing from the firing of rockets at Israel, and innocent Palestinians pay the price for such irresponsible actions. The only things achieved by such conflicts are death and injury, disruption and deterioration of the quality of life, and the exacerbation of tensions on both sides."
He continued, "The clearest lesson is this: Israel can only achieve its aim of peace and security, and the Palestinians can only achieve their aim of independence, through a negotiated agreement allowing Israel and an independent Palestinian state to live side-by-side in peace and security. The most urgent measure is to stop the violence and protect human life. All parties must then play their role in rebuilding confidence and laying the groundwork for revivified diplomatic efforts to secure a negotiated peace agreement. For our own government here in Washington, this serves another tragic reminder of the need to return efforts to resolve this conflict to the top of the US foreign policy agenda."