In September 2015, a young Palestinian woman named Hadeel Hashlamoun was stopped at a checkpoint in Hebron, a city in the West Bank. Confused and frightened by the soldiers’ demands in Hebrew, she froze and was fatally shot by an Israeli soldier.
Hashlamoun’s case, which was cited in the U.S. State Department’s 2015 Human Rights Report and determined by Amnesty International to be an extrajudicial killing, was one of several included in a letter signed by our office and 11 other organizations to the State Department.
U.S. law says that foreign military units cannot receive aid if they have committed a gross human rights violation, but until now, no U.S. aid to Israel has been cut off. In fact, the U.S. and Israel signed a new 10-year military aid agreement in September, worth $38 billion.
In addition to our office’s work on military aid, we joined the “No Way to Treat a Child” campaign, which draws attention to Palestinian children in the Israeli military court system. This past summer 20 members of Congress expressed concern about the issue in a letter to President Obama. Learn more at nowaytotreatachild.org.
While it is too early to know what a Trump administration will do, some in the Israeli government see Trump’s election as a green light for further settlement expansion. Many in Congress continue to give Israel strong support as well.
The year 2017 marks 50 years of Israeli military occupation. Your members of Congress need to hear that it is long past time for a just and sustainable peace between Palestinians and Israelis. —Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach