Opinion/Editorial: No ceasefire without justice for Gaza
The Electronic Intifada
22 July 2014
As academics, public figures and activists witnessing the intended genocide of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, we call for a ceasefire with Israel only if conditioned on an end to the blockade and the restoration of basic freedoms that have been denied to the people for more than seven years.
Our foremost concerns are not only the health and safety of the people in our communities, but also the quality of their lives – their ability to live free of fear of imprisonment without due process, to support their families through gainful employment, and to travel to visit their relatives and further their education.
These are fundamental human aspirations that have been severely limited for the Palestinian people for more than 47 years, but that have been particularly deprived from residents of Gaza since 2007. We have been pushed beyond the limits of what a normal person can be expected to endure.
A living death
Charges in the media and by politicians of various stripes that accuse Hamas of ordering Gaza residents to resist evacuation orders, and thus use them as human shields, are untrue. With temporary shelters full and the indiscriminate Israeli shelling, there is literally no place that is safe in Gaza.
Likewise, Hamas represented the sentiment of the vast majority of residents when it rejected the unilateral ceasefire proposed by Egypt and Israel without consulting anyone in Gaza. We share the broadly held public sentiment that it is unacceptable to merely return to the status quo – in which Israel strictly limits travel in and out of the Gaza Strip, controls the supplies that come in (including a ban on most construction materials), and prohibits virtually all exports, thus crippling the economy and triggering one of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the Arab world.
To do so would mean a return to a living death.
Unfortunately, past experience has shown that the Israeli government repeatedly reneges on promises for further negotiations, as well as on its commitments to reform.
Likewise, the international community has demonstrated no political will to enforce these pledges. Therefore, we call for a ceasefire only when negotiated conditions result in the following:
Freedom of movement of Palestinians in and out of the Gaza Strip.
Unlimited import and export of supplies and goods, including by land, sea and air.
Unrestricted use of the Gaza seaport.
Monitoring and enforcement of these agreements by a body appointed by the United Nations, with appropriate security measures.
Each of these expectations is taken for granted by most countries, and it is time for the Palestinians of Gaza to be accorded the human rights they deserve.
Akram Habeeb, Assistant Professor of American Literature, Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)
Mona El-Farra, Vice President and Health Chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society
Ramy Abdu PhD, Chairman of the Euro-mid Observer
Abdullah Alsaafin, Palestinian Writer/journalist
Ali Alnazli, Businessman
Adel Awadallah, Head of the Scientific Research Council
Hanine Hassan, Graduate Research Assistant
Sheren Awad, Journalist
Yahia Al-Sarraj, Associate Professor of Transportation, IUG
Tawfik Abu Shomar, Writer and political analyst
Hasan Owda, Businessman
Ibrahim AlYazji, Businessman
Walid Al Husari, Chair, Gaza Chamber of Commerce
Nael Almasri, Dentist
Wael El-Mabhouh, Political researcher
Rami Jundi, Political researcher
Ashraf Mashharawi, Filmmaker
Mohammad Alsawaf, Journalist
Hasan Abdo, Writer and political analyst
Kamal El Shaer, Political researcher
Omar Ferwana, Dean of Medicine Faculty, IUG
Iyad I. Al-Qarra, Journalist, Palestine newspaper
Musheir El-Farra, Palestinian activist and author
Khalil Namrouti, Associate Professor in Economics, IUG
Moein Rajab, Professor in Economics, Al-Azhar University – Gaza
Basil Nasser, Planning advisor
Hani Albasoos, Associate Professor in Political Science, IUG
Arafat Hilles, Assistant Professor, Al-Quds Open University
Imad Falouji, Head of Adam Center for Dialogue of Civilizations
Moin Naim, Writer and political analyst
Yousri Alghoul, Author
Mohammad Jayyab, Editor of Gaza Journal of Economics
Mousa Lubbad, Lecturer in Finance, Al-Aqsa University
Iskandar Nashwan, Assistant Professor in Accounting, Al-Aqsa University
Shadi AlBarqouni, Graduate Research Assistant
Adnan Abu Amer, Head of Political Department, Al-Umma University
Wael Al Sarraj, Assistant Professor in Computer Science, IUG
Said Namrouti, Lecturer in Human Resource Management, IUG
Khaled Al-Hallaq, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering, IUG
Asad Asad, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, IUG
Hazem Alhusari, Lecturer in Finance, Al-Aqsa University
Shadi AlBarqouni, Graduate Research Assistant
Deya’a Kahlout, Journalist, Al-Araby newspaper
Raed Salha, Assistant Professor in Geography, IUG
Sameeh Alhadad, Businessman
Tarek M. Eslim, CEO, Altariq Systems and Projects
Sami Almalfouh PhD, Senior engineer
Fayed Abushammalah, Journalist
Fadel Naeim, Chairman of Palestine Physicians Syndicate
Zeyad Al-Sahhar, Associate Professor in Physics , Al-Aqsa University
Iyad Abu Hjayer, Director, Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution
Wael Al-Daya, Associate Professor in Finance, IUG
Younis Eljarou, Head of the Red Crescent Society for the Gaza Strip
Donia ElAmal Ismail, Head of the Creative Women Association
Zeinab Alghonemi, Head of Women for Legal Consulting Association