JVP Statement on current tensions in Israel/Palestine
JVP is deeply concerned about the increasingly violent and tense situation on the ground in Israel/Palestine. In recent months, escalating incidents of state violence against Palestinians and personal violence against Israelis have fueled anger in a region already fraught with trauma from this summer__s assault on Gaza, frustration with the dead-ended peace process, and decades of Occupation.
We were upset to learn this week of the killing of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died after being assaulted by an IDF soldier at a non-violent protest on International Human Rights Day against an illegal settlement. Some Palestinian Authority leaders have threatened to end the so-called security coordination which enlists Palestinian forces to help maintain Israeli Occupation in the West Bank, and others have called for the Palestinian Authority to join the International Criminal Court in order to prosecute Israeli violations of international law. We are following the situation closely as it develops.
We are disturbed and saddened by numerous incidents of violence in the last few weeks, including, but not limited to: an acid attack on a Jewish family at a checkpoint near the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit this morning; the assault of a Palestinian bus driver by Jewish settlers on Wednesday, leading to 100 bus drivers quitting their jobs out of rising fear of violence following the death of a Palestinian bus driver in November; the temporary closure of a Hebron school due to excessive tear gas; the assault on Palestinian gas station attendants by Israelis in Ein Karem; and the torching of a Jewish/Arab school dedicated to coexistence by right-wing Jewish arsonists.
This latest round of escalating violence underscores what Jewish Voice for Peace has long said, that Israel__s ongoing Occupation endangers the security and well-being of all people in the region. It is clear that the status quo is untenable, and that real pressure must be brought to bear on Israel to end its military Occupation, repression and systemic discrimination_ for the sake of all people of the region.