We are heartened that a cease-fire was declared nearly two weeks after Israel launched new attacks on Gaza in May. More than 260 Palestinians were killed in the bombings, including 67 children, and thousands fled their homes. Rocket fire from Gaza killed 12 people in Israel in May.
Due to the ongoing blockade and Israeli military occupation, the reconstruction efforts and conditions in Gaza remain dire. More than 8,000 people continue to live in temporary shelters as their homes remain uninhabitable. Water wells, sewage systems, solar panels, and municipality service infrastructure were bombed in May and need repair. Health services remain disrupted as COVID testing centers, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies were damaged or destroyed. Patients continue to be denied access to medical treatment outside of Gaza. Agricultural lands and production facilities, factories, and shops were destroyed by Israeli bombs and are yet to be repaired, further impacting an economy in Gaza already in crisis,
Now the U.S. and international community must focus on addressing the longstanding injustices that continue to impair prospects for all people to live in safety in peace—including calling for an end to the blockade on Gaza and the Israeli occupation.
“We can’t give Gaza only seasonal attention,” AFSC's Jehad Abusalim said in an interview. “The violence continues. Ending the political isolation of Gaza and trying to make Gaza a place we can imagine living in is our mandate.”
Here are five things you can do to support Palestinians in Gaza today.
1. Organize in your community to show solidarity with Gaza.
Think creatively about how to express your support. That could include hanging a sign in your window at home or work, coordinating or joining a vigil or demonstration, organizing a fundraiser for relief efforts, or using social media to show your support for Palestine.
2. Take action by contacting public officials and the media.
Urge your representatives in Congress to end military aid to Israel and support reconstruction in Gaza. Recently the Biden administration approved a new sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel, despite objections in Congress.
Write your member of Congress and urge them to call for an end to the blockade in Gaza.
Contact your representative and urge them to support H.R. 2590, the Palestinian Children and Families Act. The U.S. government should end all military aid to Israel and, at minimum, ensure that our taxpayer dollars are not used to fund human rights violations.
Tell media outlets what you think about their coverage of Gaza and the blockade. Encourage them to challenge the narratives that ignore Palestinian rights—or give praise to coverage when they get it right.
3. Learn more and lift up Palestinian voices.
Check out our list of resources about Gaza—including films, recent articles, books, and websites for more information.
Lift up the voices of Palestinians from Gaza and throughout the occupied Palestinian territory. Share our Facebook interviews with people living in Gaza. And read and share these powerful essays written by Palestinian youth in Gaza for our “Life Under Blockade” booklet.
4. Hold corporations accountable for their role in violating the rights of Palestinians in Gaza.
AFSC’s Economic Activism Program has compiled a list of corporations complicit in Israeli military attacks on Gaza and profit from the Israeli occupation, including supplying weapons and surveillance technology to Israel. Take action against these companies to ensure your money is not contributing to human rights violations—and call on them to end their complicity in apartheid and war crimes. Visit Investigate to learn more about these and other companies involved in the occupation, and how you can join efforts to divest or boycott them.
5. Make a gift.
Contribute to AFSC’s fund to provide much-needed pandemic relief supplies for communities in Palestine, including housebound and elderly Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Your gift will also support AFSC’s advocacy for Palestinian rights, an end to the blockade, and Palestinian access to COVID-19 vaccines.