Amnesty International submitted an urgent letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today, appealing to the U.S. government to vigorously pressure all parties to the current Gaza conflict to immediately cease indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks which cause civilian deaths and casualties, allow necessary humanitarian aid and workers into the region and suspend the transfer of U.S. weapons to Israel.
“Amnesty International USA is particularly dismayed at the lopsided response by the U.S. government to the recent violence and its lackadaisical efforts to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” the human rights organization states in its letter to Secretary Rice.
“Without diminishing the responsibility of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups for indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians, the U.S. government must not ignore Israel’s disproportionate response and the longstanding policies which have brought the Gaza Strip to the brink of humanitarian disaster.”
Amnesty International is also deeply concerned that weaponry and military equipment supplied to Israel by the United States have also been used in the recent Israeli strikes against densely populated civilian residential areas of Gaza. The United States must suspend the transfer of weapons to Israel immediately and conduct an investigation into whether U.S. weapons were used to commit human rights abuses.
In the letter, Amnesty International also calls on the United States to take an active role in reversing the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza by exerting pressure on Israel to open the crossings into Gaza to human rights workers, journalists and adequate quantities of humanitarian aid. Addressing the humanitarian crisis will also require the United States to elicit cooperation from Egyptian and Hamas authorities in allowing Palestinians to leave Gaza to seek medical care. [more]