Youth Organizations in Israel Call for an Immediate Ceasefire

We, youth anti-apartheid activists, stand firmly against the indiscriminate killing of civilians and against the war-crimes perpetrated by Hamas and the Israeli army (IDF). We condemn all violence towards all civilian populations in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel, and call for an immediate ceasefire.

We find the events of October 7th abhorrent, when children, women, and men were indiscriminately massacred or kidnapped by Hamas militants. Families from all across the country were torn apart, and entire villages and towns in the south had to flee their homes.

While we as youths growing up in Israel were all terrified on that Saturday on October 7th, we find the crimes that Israel is currently committing in Gaza to be abhorrent and terrifying as well: the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, wiping out entire families and neighborhoods, destroying lives, dreams, and childhoods. We also reject the violent pogroms perpetrated by armed settlers in the West Bank, backed by the IDF, who seek to take advantage of this horrible war and continue to steal even more Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories, and to accelerate the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the area of its Palestinian residents, through instilling fear and pain among defenseless Palestinian communities under occupation. There is no nationality to pain, death, or fear.

We insist that this war did not erupt in a vacuum. This war, similar to previous rounds of escalation in the Gaza Strip, is a direct result of the brutal siege on Gaza, the continued use of “mowing the grass” policy in the Gaza Strip utilized by the IDF, the violent Israeli occupation and settlement apparatus, and the divide-and-conquer policy between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which the Israeli government propagated by strengthening Hamas and weakening the PLO, undermining its legitimacy as the representative of the Palestinian People in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

We are disgusted and scarred by all these acts, but we remember there are people feeling the same way on the other side of the fence. We know that revenge is not a strategy, and that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. We insist that there is no military solution for a political problem. Only diplomatic efforts will bring an end to the occupation, the siege, and the violence. Only diplomatic efforts can bring lasting peace to our region.

Our recommendations to the UN regarding the present situation are as follows:

  1. Pressure both parties to enter an immediate ceasefire including an immediate halt to Israel’s and Hamas’s military assaults, and an end to the collective punishment in Gaza and in the West Bank,
  2. The immediate release of all hostages and political prisoners,
  3. Swiftly sending humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,
  4. Demand that Israel reinstitute water, food, and electricity supply to Gaza,
  5. Condemn all forms of forced displacement including the latest evacuation notice to over 1 million residents in north Gaza and the continued military-backed ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the West Bank,
  6. Call for a complete arms embargo on all fighting parties,
  7. Demand that the Israeli government put an end to the unlawful and deadly siege on the Gaza Strip and the illegal occupation of the West Bank,
  8. Pressure Israel to stop its continued policy of divide and conquer between Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,
  9. Encourage all involved parties to enter negotiations with the stated goal of achieving lasting peace based on the two-state solution, institutional reparations, and the right of return. •

The above joint statement concerning the rapid escalation of the military confrontation between Hamas and Israeli forces was published by three youth organizations – the Israeli Young Communist League, Mesarvot Network, and Youth Against Dictatorship.