Attn: Mr. Paul Sutphin, Director, Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs and Mr. Jake Walles, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State
This week, the Israeli government prohibited a shipment of crafts from leaving the Gaza Strip. These crafts are sold every year at a holiday bazaar sponsored by two nonprofit organizations based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The crafts were handmade by men and women with disabilities from the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, and are the sole means of livelihood and survival for them and their families. I urge you to please demand that the Israeli government releases these goods from Gaza and allows their shipment.
I further ask that you demand an end to the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, where children comprise more than half of the population. The suffering of the people there is at all time high as over 70% of the population lives in poverty. The unemployment rate in Gaza, a staggering 45%, is among the world's highest. And because of the Israeli blockade, children in Gaza are victims of acute malnutrition, a severe lack of medicine, inadequate education, and unsanitary living conditions.
Please call on Israel, a close ally of the United States, to stop its policies of collective punishment and end the suffering of the Palestinian people in accordance with international law.