Sanders' amendment to the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require a report on the humanitarian impact of severe restrictions on movement, access, and goods in and out of Gaza. Should it be adopted, we hope you will work to preserve it through conference negotiations. This important provision would require the Comptroller General of the United States, in consultation with the President, the Secretary of State, the United Nations, and other key stakeholders, to submit a report to Congress assessing the restrictions on Gaza, including: After roughly 14 years, the severe restrictions on Gaza have left nearly 2 million people with severely limited access to clean water, electricity, and food; prevents critical supplies from reaching Gaza which is necessary for maintaining and rebuilding water treatment and sanitation infrastructure; roughly 97 percent of Gaza’s tap water is contaminated, depriving civilians of regular access to drinkable water.
The restrictions have also left Gaza’s electrical grid in ruins, forcing many Palestinians to live without electricity for nearly half the day. More than 80 percent of Gaza’s population relies on humanitarian aid. New solutions are needed to end Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, decrease tensions and help end the endless cycles of violence that have endangered the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire.
The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, according to the UN and humanitarian aid groups working to deliver aid in Gaza, has not been able to overcome the restrictions and ensure civilian wellbeing and humanitarian access. This report is a critical step for Congress and the American people to understand the full impact that current restrictions on movement and access have on Palestinians in Gaza and will facilitate the identification of structural reforms to address the crisis. This reporting requirement includes feasibility studies on new internationally-supervised inspection measures, assesses if the current Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism adheres to internationally-recognized standards for dealing with the issue of “dual-use” goods, and studies the efficacy of establishing specific benchmarks for the volume and timeframe of imports. We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to support Senator Sanders’ amendment to the FY2022 NDAA, to create more transparency and accountability regarding the humanitarian impact of the restrictions on Gaza and to advance solutions to address the crisis, which will advance human security and safety for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. Sincerely, About Face Veterans Against War Action Corps Al-Haq American Baptist Churches (USA) American Muslims for Palestine Americans for Justice in Palestine Action Amnesty International USA Arab American Institute Campaign Against Arms Trade Christian Peacemaker Teams Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy Churches for Middle East Peace CODEPINK Demand Progress Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) Disciples Palestine Israel Network Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) Episcopal Peace Fellowship Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Eyewitness Palestine For All Freedom Forward Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ Historians for Peace and Democracy Human Rights Watch ICNA Council for Social Justice IfNotNow J Street Just Foreign Policy MADRE Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Methodist Federation for Social Action Middle East Children's Alliance National Council of Churches USA National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights National Writers Union Neighbors for Peace Nonviolent Peaceforce Norwegian Refugee Council On Earth Peace Our Revolution Oxfam America Peace Action Presbyterian Church (USA) Progressive Democrats of America Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft Reformed Church in America ReThinking Foreign Policy RootsAction.org Showing Up for Racial Justice South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) Sunrise Movement The Episcopal Church The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society Tree of Life Educational Fund Tunisian United Network Unitarian Universalist Association United for Peace and Justice United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) US Boats to Gaza US Council of Muslim Organizations US Palestinian Council Win Without War Women for Weapons Trade Transparency Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) Working Families Party World BEYOND War Yemen Freedom Council Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation Yemeni Liberation Movement.
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