FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. - July 4, 2023
Media Contact: email@example.com
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemns ongoing military raids in Jenin
and calls on the US Government to Take Action
July 4, 2023
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemns the attack on Jenin that started yesterday and has killed at least 10 Palestinians and wounded 100, including civilians. The year 2023 has already become the deadliest year for West Bank Palestinians since 2005. We call on the US government to take diplomatic actions to prevent further escalations and loss of life.
On Monday, July 3, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) conducted what many are calling the largest military raid since 2005 in Jenin, resulting in the death of three minors and significant infrastructure damage. The Israeli military has claimed that their operation in Jenin is a ‘counter-terrorism operation’ targeting Palestinian militant groups concentrating in Jenin. IDF have used drones, about ten airstrikes, ground attacks, and bulldozers to demolish streets in the densely populated refugee camp. At the time of writing, the raid continues even as 500 families have been evacuated from the camp.
Jenin has been a frequent attack location this year in particular. During a raid in January, the Israeli military killed nine Palestinians, including five minors. Last month, the Israeli military killed seven Palestinians, including two minors. Seven more were killed on June 19, and three more in an Israeli drone strike on June 21. Palestinian militants killed four Israeli settlers on June 20.
The Biden Administration’s failure to give urgent attention to the ongoing violations of rights and violence perpetrated by IDF has only served to embolden the most radical far-right Israeli government. The Biden Administration must take immediate diplomatic steps to intervene and call for a de-escalation of violence and respect for civilian life. Furthermore, the Biden Administration must ensure U.S. military aid and defense articles are not used to destroy civilian infrastructure and injure or kill civilians. As long as the U.S. continues to provide aid without any conditions, the Israeli military will act with impunity. CMEP’s Manager of Middle East Partnerships, Kevin Vollrath, based in the Jerusalem area, says, “How many youth and civilians must be killed before the US says ‘enough’”? Since 1967, Palestinians have suffered consistent human rights violations while living under military occupation for decades.
Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of more than 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.