End Bombings! — Cease Fire Now!

Bombs continue falling on Gaza as Hamas leaders continue their rhetoric of defiance and sending rockets into Israel A one ton bomb killed Hamas leader, Nizar Rayan, and four members of his family. Rayan had consistently refused to negotiate with Israel or, let alone, recognize it as an independent nation. “There is nothing called Israel, neither in reality nor in imagination.” Unfortunately, the non-exisant Israel is pounding away at Gaza in a fierce determination to kill Hamas leaders and force a cease fire that will end rocket attacks. The decision by Hamas to end the cease fire and to resume large scale rocket attacks on Israel must rank as among the most misguided actions of 2008. The only result was the death of dozens of innocent civilians and massive destruction of facilities.

Many international groups are urging Israel to halt the bombing, but the Israeli military establishment wants guarantees that all rocket attacks will cease. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni went as far to state, “there is no humanitarian crisis in the strip.” Yes, Ms. Livni, there is a humanitarian crisis that must be resolved as soon as possible to prevent the death of innocent Gaza civilians.

We urge the following steps be taken:

1. An immediate cease fire by Israel with the understanding that within 48 hours, all rocket attacks from Gaza will cease.

2. A United Nations force be sent to Gaza to supervise crossings and ensure there are no future rocket attacks. The Turkish army would be the logical military force to enforce a cease fire– it has the confidence of Israel and is Muslim.