Thunder Bay Muslim Association Statement on Gaza Strip Fighting

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A Palestinian girl stands on the ruins of her home after it was destroyed in an airstrike in a refugee camp in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip (12 July 2014). ©UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0911/El Baba
A Palestinian girl stands on the ruins of her home after it was destroyed in an airstrike in a refugee camp in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip (12 July 2014). ©UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0911/El Baba

The fighting, so far missile and rocket fire exchanges is in the tiny Gaza Strip
The fighting, that was missile and rocket fire exchanges is now moving to a ground offensive in the tiny Gaza Strip

Local Thunder Bay Reaction

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The Thunder Bay Muslim Association has issued a statement on the situation in Gaza:

“The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits targeting civilians, medical personnel or facilities, and ambulances. Since Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the beginning of the invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces, the latter has been carrying out a disgraceful series of attacks on the population of Gaza. So far, this terrible invasion has led to the killing of 1,400 Palestinians—two-thirds of them civilians (according to UN figures)—and the injuring of 8,000. Of the civilian dead, nearly half were women and children. On the Israeli side, 56 soldiers and three civilians have been killed and 20 have been injured.

“Israeli forces have destroyed or severely damaged: Gaza’s main power station, 9,000 homes, 24 health facilities, including five hospitals, four clinics, and a center for people with disabilities, four ambulances, and 77 UNRWA schools, and 6 UN facilities acting as shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPS). Between 400,000 and 440,000 Palestinians have been internally displaced. Many of them are living in 69 schools that are serving as emergency shelters, including all the United Nations Relief and Works United Nations for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)’s schools in Gaza City. There are currently extreme shortages pertaining to food, water, and medical supplies according to UN assessments.

“Humanitarian and human rights groups are reporting from Gaza that civilians have been targeted and are gathering evidence. Targeting civilians is a war crime under international law; it is illegal. The UN representatives have already referred to this onslaught of Gaza as a human made catastrophe and a crime against humanity. UN human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised what she said was Israel’s “deliberate defiance” of international law.

“We ask our honorable MP Bruce Hyer to relay our message to Prime Minster Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird:

1. to call for an immediate ceasefire by working towards ending the sanctions and blockade on Gaza and its citizens
2. to join in the call for an investigation of Israel’s violation of human rights, its targeting of civilians, and its war crimes
3. to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza
4. to open the borders so that rebuilding can take place
5. to ask both parties to abide by the principles of human rights and international law and to insist that Israel abide by UN Resolutions.

“Israel’s impunity of violations must cease. Canada must act to protect civilians on all sides. Canada must act to have the root causes of injustice addressed”.