Israel, the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Palestinian Authority Territories
What You Can Do
No matter where you live or who you are, you can take action to try and improve the human rights situation during the current violence in Israel, the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Palestinian Authority Territories. You can find links to Web sites with government and media contact information on our Activist Tools page.
- Contact your Parliamentarian or Congressional Representative. Send copies of your letters to Palestinian and Israeli representatives accredited to your country.
- Contact your President or Prime Minister.
- Write letters to the editors of national and local newspapers.
- Write an op-ed for a local newspaper (see our suggested "Talking Points" for ideas)
- Contact Israeli and Palestinian officials. Write, email or call to express your concerns to:
P.M. Ariel Sharon|
State of Israel
Kiryat Ben Gurian
H.E. Yasser Arafat|
Office of the President
The Beach Forum
Palestinian Authority via Israel
Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister|
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Israeli Defense Minister
Suggested Talking Points
For political leaders and media:
Your government should
- insist that all parties respect the basic principle of international humanitarian law prohibiting all attacks that target or disproportionately harm civilians;
- insist that this principle applies during times of conflict;
- use all possible means to ensure that all parties guarantee access to emergency medical care and humanitarian assistance;
- pressure all parties to permit independent media and human rights groups access to monitor the impact of military operations on civilians;
- call on Israel to end all forms of collective punishment, including punitive house demolitions and prolonged and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of movement;
- call on the Palestinian Authority to take all feasible measures to halt indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians, and to investigate and punish persons found responsible at any level for such attacks;
- call on Israel to investigate allegations of excessive or indiscriminate use of force involving harm to civilians and civilian property and hold accountable persons found responsible.
- For those living in the United States: monitor use of U.S.-origin weapons in operations that disproportionately affect innocent civilians, and report the findings publicly;
For Israeli and Palestinian officials:
- Stress the need for all parties to respect the laws of war, which absolutely prohibit targeting civilians, including acts of retaliation;
- Urge Israel to investigate allegations of suspicious killings, including indiscriminate and excessive use of force, and hold accountable individuals found responsible.
- Urge Israel to make public the names and whereabouts of detained and arrested persons, and allow access to them by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
- Urge Israel to end all practices that amount to collective punishment, including punitive house demolitions and severe and prolonged restrictions on freedom of movement.
- Urge President Arafat to condemn Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians publicly and unequivocally, and take steps to bring to justice persons responsible for such attacks.
- Urge Israel to lift all restrictions on the movement of emergency medical personnel and allow access to medical treatment for the sick and wounded.
- Urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to allow independent media and human rights organizations to monitor conditions and report on developments.
- Urge Israel to make public the Rules of Engagement and Open Fire Regulations in use in the current conflict in the West bank and Gaza.