Clair McCaskill, Roy Blunt: Speak out against the blockade of Gaza

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Over 1.8 million Palestinians are currently trapped inside Gaza while a decade-long blockade starves them of basic supplies, economic opportunity, and the prospect of a healthy life

The ability to peacefully advocate for change must be safeguarded as a human right and an essential element of democracy

As of 21 May 2018, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, 112 Gazans were killed, of whom 13 were children (under 18), and 13,190 were injured in the recent protests for change

Human rights watch and Amnesty International have called for a full investigation into the intentional killings of the Gazan protesters, and I ask you to support that call in the Senate

Senator Bernie Sanders’ letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemning the Israeli army's use of excessive force and live ammunition against Palestinian protesters in Gaza

Hamas is not Gaza and Gaza is not Hamas. Palestinian civilians willingness to walk to that fence was not a measure of their support for Hamas. It measured their yearning to assert themselves as humans and claim their freedom, even at immediate risk.

The question must be asked: What quality of life has convinced tens of thousands of human beings that such danger represents their best hope – and why aren’t they allowed to walk on their own land in protest?

The Israeli government presented the killings as a defense of Israel’s border. However, a border is an agreed line. This line is the unilateral, military demarcation of an illegal blockade.

The Israeli army has militarized a belt of Gaza’s agricultural land, intruding a further 300 to 500 meters into Gaza. That is the area in which live fire was used by the Israeli army. Gazans were walking and being killed on their own land. Walking in protest is not a crime, specifically a crime punishable by death, and human rights group B’Tselem calls Israel’s attempts at controlling the Gaza protest with live fire “absurd."