May 14, 2018, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:
Israel’s state violence against Palestinians must end.
Today Israel continued its campaign of willfully killing and injuring Palestinians in Gaza participating in the ‘Great March of Return’ as they demand their freedom and their right to return. Today alone Israel killed over 40 people and injured a thousand more. Tomorrow marks 70 years of the Nakba, or the catastrophe, commemorating the forced displacement of Palestinians by the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Also today, the Trump administration opened the U.S. Embassy in occupied Jerusalem in violation of international law, on top of continuing to give unqualified economic, political, military, and diplomatic support to Israel, at the very moment when peaceful protesters are being shot at and killed mere miles away in Gaza. The Center for Constitutional Rights once again stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and calls for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the siege of Gaza, and U.S. complicity in Palestinian oppression.
Gaza is in its 11th year under Israel’s illegal blockade, and Palestinians there are unable to access adequate water and electricity, work, pursue education, visit their family, or receive adequate medical treatment, leading U.N. officials to call it “unlivable.” Protesters taking part in the Great March of Return have been met with live sniper fire that has thus far killed over 90 people and injured almost 3000 protestors. Simultaneously, the U.S. opened the new embassy in Jerusalem, largely on land that was occupied in 1967, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in utter disregard for fundamental principles of international law and to Palestinian self-determination.
As Israel escalates these abuses against the most basic of human rights, it also aims to repress human rights activism that challenges these injustices; just in the last two weeks, the State of Israel detained and deported CCR Executive Director Vince Warren and Board Chair Katherine Franke, and ordered the deportation of well-respected human rights defender Omar Shakir, who had been leading the Human Rights Watch office in Jerusalem.
The movement to support Palestinian human rights is growing, and the world is watching. Israel can no longer assume impunity for its violations, and neither can the U.S. for its ongoing complicity.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.