APN Statement on Israel-Gaza Violence

Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the ceasefire reached between Israel and Hamas, while recognizing that it will provide only a lull between flareups. Security and stability for Israelis and Palestinians depend on a political settlement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

APN strongly condemns the barrage of some 700 rockets launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip at civilian communities in southern Israel. We stand with our Israeli brothers and sisters.

We send our condolences to the families of innocent civilians killed in this round of violence and wish fast and full recovery to the injured.

APN defends the right, and indeed responsibility, of the Israeli government to defend its citizens against terrorism. At the same time, we recognize that the seemingly endless cycle of relative quiet, punctuated by deadly spasms of violence, all while Gaza suffers a severe humanitarian crisis under closures imposed by Israel and Egypt, will never bring peace and safety for Israelis or Palestinians.

The Israeli government's failure to act proactively and holistically to advance a political resolution to Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is unacceptable.

Prime Minister Netanyahu does not hide the fact that his strategy is to divide Palestinians and prevent the emergence of an independent Palestinian state. In effect, the Israeli right wing's commitment to maintaining Israeli control over the West Bank comes at the expense of the civilians of southern Israel.

Tomorrow, on Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), Israelis will mourn the 23,700 fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism since Israel's establishment. As our Israeli sister-organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) today pointed out, "Israeli citizens deserve a courageous government that will deliver a conflict-ending agreement: a two-state solution," a sovereign Israel and a sovereign Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

Tragically, the Trump administration, through disastrous self-defeating policies, is a part of the problem. Rather than striving to help resolve the conflict, the administration in the past two years has denied itself the credibility to play a constructive role in improving Israeli-Palestinian relations and brokering peace. With its soon-to-be-published "peace plan" that apparently shuns the two-state solution and focuses on economic painkillers rather than on comprehensive conflict resolution, the Trump administration will further perpetuate the conflict.