End the Siege of Gaza: Ceasefire Now

End the Siege of Gaza: Ceasefire Now

A few days ago after years of blockade and war, 350,000 desperate Palestinians poured through breaches in the Gaza-Egypt border. The crisis is out of control, the world must step in –- let’s urgently call on the United Nations, European Union and Arab League to stop the siege, oversee the opening of borders and help broker the ceasefire which civilians on all sides desperately need. Please click below to sign the emergency petition—we’ll deliver it when we reach 150,000 signatures–-so sign now and forward this email to your friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_end_the_siege/9.php?cl=52051291

The border blockade of Gaza by Israel has finally hit crisis point. This week’s power blackouts caught the attention of the world; now militants have blown open Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, and Israel could act by force to close it.

The international community can end this crisis, and help save civilians on all sides. This isn’t about taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it’s about 1.5 million human beings locked up in the biggest prison on earth. The unsustainable blockade must be lifted and the border opened properly, with external controls to prevent weapons smuggling. Meanwhile, the missile war between Israel and Gaza will only be stopped by a reciprocal ceasefire which Hamas says it would negotiate.

While Israel and the US remain committed to the failing siege, the UN, European Union and Arab League can step in to end this blockade, oversee open borders, and help broker a ceasefire to save lives on all sides—sign the petition and spread the word today:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_end_the_siege/9.php?cl=52051291

The humanitarian crisis of Gaza is only getting worse, as patients die in hospitals for lack of care, and clean drinking water runs low. Palestinian militants are still launching missiles at the Israeli town of Sderot, and Israeli missiles claimed 37 Palestinian lives last week—many of them civilian.

No genuine peace talks will be possible while this crisis continues. In the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, we saw how global pressure and assistance can stop such a crisis and protect civilians from harm—we cannot stay silent about the crisis in Gaza. Please add your name now at the link above, and forward this message widely.

PS In a global interactive poll on the Middle East, tens of thousands of Avaaz members helped to set our direction for this campaign—addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and achieving a reciprocal ceasefire were each supported by over 90% of respondents:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/annapolis_results_2

For more about the crisis:

Article by UN agency chief: “There has never been a more urgent need for the international community to act to restore normality in Gaza”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2245299,00.html

Border breakout, 350,000 Palestinians cross into Egypt:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3497673,00.html

Former Clinton official calls for ceasefire, ending siege:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/21/opinion/edmalley.php

Several Israeli cabinet ministers also want to negotiate ceasefire:
Jerusalem Post article

UN reports on the humanitarian crisis, including background to the blackouts:
http://www.ochaopt.org/?module=displaysection§ion_id=11&static=0&format=html

Deepening medical crisis in Gaza (UN):
http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=75693

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Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.


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