PHILADELPHIA – November 10 – The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international humanitarian service organization, joins Palestine, Israel, and organizations and coalitions around the world for the International Week of Action Against the Wall, November 9 – 16.
During the next week groups are mobilizing their communities for a series of educational activities and actions to bring down this Wall and other walls and barriers.
13,000 Palestinians have already been made homeless as their homes and communities have been demolished to build the wall. Built entirely on Palestinian land, the Wall will encompass 54% of the West Bank occupied after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. In some places the Wall is built of concrete 25 feet high. In other places it is a fence with sensors, watchtowers, roads, and 70 yards wide.
According to Israeli sources the Wall is a security fence protecting the Israeli population living in Israel and settlers living in the West Bank from Palestinian violence. Palestinians see the Wall as an imprisonment of the population living in the West Bank — dividing communities and families from each other, their land and livelihood.
“This Wall will devastate the Palestinian people,” said Kathy Kamphoefner, Quaker International Affairs representative, based in Jerusalem. “It will isolate Palestinians living in the West Bank, intensifying the economic, social, and cultural hardships they face.”
Those opposing the construction of the wall call on citizens of the U.S. to:
1. Contact their Congressional representatives and ask that they withhold all US money that keeps the occupation going, including money that is being used to build the Wall by calling the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 1-800-839-5276.
2. Write letters, op-ed pieces, and articles about the devastating effects of the Wall.
3. Learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the US role. Organize meetings in your community, home, place of worship and show a video and talk about what people can do to make US policy in the Middle East fair and balanced.
The Wall is a continuation of the “matrix of control” Israel has exercised in the territories it occupied in 1967. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, an occupying power is not allowed to change the status of the territory it occupies, including moving its own population into the occupied areas. Israel has violated this since 1967 by confiscating Palestinian land, building Jewish settlements, building by-pass roads for Israeli use, destroying Palestinian homes as a matter of collective punishment, and destroying crops and trees of Palestinian farmers.
The American Friends Service Committee is has worked for a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis and a just U.S. policy in the Middle East for decades. Best known for organizing massive programs to feed millions of starving children in post-war Germany, the Service Committee has worked internationally for peace, justice and human dignity for more than 85 years. With its European counterpart, the British Council of Friends, The Service Committee won the Noble Peace Prize for humanitarian service during World Wars I and II. AFSC administered relief for over 200,000 refugees in the Gaza Strip in the 1940s on behalf of the United Nations. Supporting Palestinians and Israelis working for peace with justice.
We invite all those who are working to bring down walls and build bridges instead to join in this important work. For more information on international activities visit www.endtheocccupation.org or www.stopthewall.org