National Conference of Black Lawyers Condemns the Massacre in Gaza

December 30, 2008 – The National Conference of Black Lawyers (“NCBL”) condemns the massive military attack by Israel upon Gaza. Since Saturday, December 27 Israel’s bombs have rained on Gaza, hitting targets such as a refugee camp and a university. News agencies reported today that over 375 Palestinians, including women and children as young as age 4, have been murdered. Over 1400 have been wounded.

The military attacks are not Israel’s only act of aggression towards Gaza. For over a year the Israeli government has held a stranglehold on Gaza, preventing the entry of necessary goods such as food and medicine into the territory, and withholding electricity for long stretches of time. Israel’s actions are inhumane and are in violation of international law. Israel controls both access to Gaza and the freedom of movement of Gazans. As an occupying power, Israel’s blockade amounts to collective punishment in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard Falk has even characterized the blockade policies as a crime against humanity. In addition, Israel’s indiscriminate firing on civilian populations violates the rules of war and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Each year the United States government gives billions of dollars in taxpayer money to Israel, described as “aid.” As taxpayers we demand that the United States stop funding Israel’s illegal actions. Further, the NCBL calls on the international community to decry the military attacks on Gaza, as well as the blockade.