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Hawkins Calls on Cuomo to Cancel Israel “Solidarity” Trip over Gaza Massacre

Hawkins Calls on Cuomo to Cancel Israel “Solidarity” Trip over Gaza Massacre

For immediate release: May 15, 2018

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to cancel what the governor announced last Friday as a “security and solidarity” trip to Israel.

“The live ammo shooting of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli soldiers, killing scores and wounding hundreds, should be condemned by all. Cuomo should cancel his trip to Israel to demonstrate his rejection of this unjustifiable massacre,” Hawkins said.

On Monday, 61 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 people injured, including 1,359 from live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. More demonstrations at the border fence were expected today, which is the culmination of six weeks of March of Return protests. Today is 70th celebration of Israeli Independence Day, which the Palestinians commemorate as the Nakba, “the catastrophe.”

Palestinian protesters have been nonviolently marching on razor-wire and electrified fences dividing 1.8 million Palestinians confined to the Gaza Strip, a small area about the twice the size of Washington, D.C., from their ancestral homes in Israel from which their families were dispossessed. Since March 30, 97 Palestinians, including twelve children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the demonstrations. The cumulative number of injuries has exceeded 12,000, including 3,598 by live ammunition, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In 2014, Hawkins criticized Cuomo’s trip to Israel in support of its military campaign of airstrikes and ground incursions into Gaza, which killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and wounded more than 10,000. Hawkins has supported divestment of New York State funds from Israel since 2005 when Palestinian civil society issued a call for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and respects Palestinians’ human rights in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Monday’s massacre may go down as a turning point in the history of Israel’s apartheid state just like the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre did in apartheid South Africa. Israel’s actions contradict its claims to democracy and seeking peace. The question for Cuomo is which side is he on? Apartheid ethnic cleansing? Or equal rights for all?” Hawkins said.

Hawkins will participate in a Nakba Remembrance Rally and Teach-In at the Federal Building in Syracuse at 4:00 pm this afternoon.

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