Dear Senator,

As your constituent, I urge you to call for an immediate end to Israel’s airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructure in Gaza, which have resulted in the killing of hundreds and wounding of thousands of civilians.

Since Israel launched its campaign on July 8 of collective military punishment on the civilian population of Gaza, it has killed more than 204 Palestinians in air and artillery strikes, wounded well over 1,550 people, and destroyed 600 homes and thousands of other buildings, according to reports collected by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

UN reports indicate that 80 percent of the people killed in Gaza have been civilians, raising serious concerns about Israel’s disregard for international and humanitarian law.

Haaretz newspaper in Israel also reports that “IDF forces are carrying out artillery fire on the area of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. IDF sources say the action is ‘an attempt to encourage the population's evacuation.’”  Israel’s targeting civilian populations in Gaza with artillery fire can never be condoned as a means of “encouraging evacuation” and meets the legal definition of a war crime.

In Israel one person has been killed and 20 have been wounded by Hamas rocket attacks and some property has been damaged since this conflict began. The loss of life or infrastructure on either side is totally unacceptable.

Israel’s collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population has not been criticized by the Obama administration; instead the White House has gone on the record to defend Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza and only condemn Hamas rocket attacks.

The U.S. government must not remain silent about Israel’s unjust and disproportionate use of force against the Palestinians in Gaza. The “right of a nation to defend oneself” does not extend to unrestrained aerial bombardments of civilian populations and must be condemned immediately.

Because Americans taxpayers provide Israel with billions of dollars of aid each year, we have a right to demand that those funds not be used to take the lives of innocent civilians.

I and other constituents in your district, strongly urge you to call for an immediate end to Israel’s airstrikes targeting civilians in Gaza.

Thank you for your time in reading this letter, which I am sending in partnership with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

I would appreciate a written response from you so that I may hear your thoughts on this vital issue.

Sincerely,