Gaza and Israel are on the brink of all-out war - before it's too late, let's raise a massive global outcry for a ceasefire to stop the violence and protect civilians:
bloody full-scale invasion, or a cease-fire. With rockets raining down on both sides, Israel launched a ground assault into the Gaza Strip this weekend. Three Israelis and over a hundred Palestinians, many of them civilians and children, lie dead already. The next 48 hours are crucial -- Israel's cabinet will discuss a larger invasion Wednesday. But Hamas floated a Gaza ceasefire months ago, and 64% of Israelis support the idea.
Both sides know they are in a battle for global legitimacy, and international opinion counts. We need a massive global outcry for a cease-fire now -- sign our new emergency petition below, then forward this message to friends and family. We will deliver our petition to senior Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week, as well as in a major billboard campaign:
This is not just a war but a growing humanitarian crisis. Last month we met with EU Middle East envoy Marc Otte and senior advisers in European member states to deliver our 100,000-strong call for an internationally-overseen opening of the Gaza crossings to break the siege of Gaza, and we have seen progress since from the international community.
But the crisis is escalating, and citizens on both sides are desperate for safety. Many experts believe that without a ceasefire to stabilize Gaza, there is no chance for achieving a comprehensive peace and a fair two-state deal. While the US still maintains no-one must talk to Hamas, Israel itself has begun to break that taboo. Public reports and our own contacts indicate that European and Arab officials now support a Gaza ceasefire, as does Palestinian President Abbas.
Like the Hezbollah-Israel war of 2006, this conflict is spinning out of control. Just as it did then, international pressure can help achieve a ceasefire today. The combatants take public opinion very seriously. So let's send a united global message to the warring parties to stop the violence -- sign the new petition and spread the word today:
With hope and determination,
Paul, Galit, Esra'a, Ricken, Ben, Graziela, Pascal and the whole Avaaz team
PS The UN has already called for both sides to cease all acts of violence -- the European Union, Turkey, Russia, the UK, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and many other states have joined the global chorus.
1. "Invasion or ceasefire?" Guardian news report on the Israeli debate:
2. The Times of London news report -- both sides claiming success, 110 dead:
Missiles now reaching the Israeli city of Ashkelon:
3. Reports differ about casualty counts from the weekend operation -- the IDF says 90% of those killed were militants, but respected Israeli human rights organisation Bt'selem reports that 54 of 106 Palestinians killed did not take part in the fighting:
4. 64% of Israelis support ceasefire talks with Hamas:
President Abbas wants to help broker such a ceasefire:
5. European and international policy shifting:
6. UN and EU call for an end to the violence: