A prominent Jewish-American activist Ariel Gold called Israel’s recent attacks in Gaza Strip and Palestine “war crimes” in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
“These are war crimes and Israel is calling them self-defense, but that isn’t self-defense,” said Gold, who is the national co-director of CODEPINK, a female-based activist group seeking to end war around the world.
“The root cause of the violence that we’re seeing are Israel’s systems of oppression and dominance of apartheid… We need a ceasefire, but to get a real solution, the assistance of apartheid and oppression must be dismantled,” she said.
Gold also said the Israeli attacks are “a siege that has created an open-air prison created a situation of absolute desperation,” noting the unemployment rate in Gaza is almost 50%.
“Electricity is sporadic, drinking water is not always available safe drinking water, and then of course right now we also have a massive outbreak of COVID-19 in Gaza” she added.
“Israel actually provoked this recent heightened violence through approving a series of evictions, which is land theft, ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem, through attacking Muslim worshippers during the holiest month of the year,” she said.
The activist called on Joe Biden’s administration to cut off its military assistance for the Israeli government while children and residential buildings are being bombed.
“We haven’t seen any of that, but it is encouraging that we have these members of Congress that are really putting that out there,” said Gold.
Israel continues to target Gaza with heavy bombardment, so far killing 83 Palestinians, including 17 children and seven women, according to health officials. At least 487 others have been injured, in addition to heavy damage to residential buildings across the enclave.
Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah area in occupied East Jerusalem over the past month as Israeli settlers swarmed in following a court order for the eviction of Palestinian families in the area.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 — a move that has never been recognized by the international community.
*Ovunc Kutlu in Ankara contributed to the story.