Friday rally condemns latest Israeli "targeted killings" in Gaza, calls for cutoff of US Aid until occupation ends

Event: PPRC Rally and March for Peace
Date: Friday, August 29th, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition Friday 5:00 p.m. rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square will focus once again on the conflict in Israel/Palestine. "Earlier this week, Israel once again sent US-supplied helicopter gunships into Palestinian territory to fire missiles at a car driving on one of Gaza' s busy streets," said Mikel Clayhold, a PPRC spokesperson. "This time they failed to kill their target, but they did succeed in killing a 65-year old man, wounding four children, leaving one eight-year-old in critical condition."1 The Israelis were trying to kill a member of Hamas, Khaled Massoud, who they accuse of being responsible for mortar attacks on Israeli towns. "A day earlier an Israeli gunboat and a helicopter fired missiles into Gaza city, again wounding seven people," said Clayhold. "The targets for these attacks are not the Hamas activists, but the peace process."

PPRC reiterated its call for an immediate cutoff of US military aid to Israel until the attacks on Palestinians and the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is ended. "The underlying cause and basis for this terrible conflict is the thirty-six years of brutal occupation of Palestinian land," said Will Seaman, a volunteer with the PPRC and also a member of Jews for Global Justice. "The Israeli government policies of land confiscation and illegal settlements has not only been an ongoing crime against the Palestinian people, it has also made Israel the most unsafe country in the world for Jews." Seaman has just returned from a three-week visit to Israel/Palestine organized by the Faculty for Israeli Palestinian Peace. "People who want to learn about what life is like under the Israeli military occupation have a rare opportunity this week," said Seaman. "Portland is hosting the "Laboring for Justice in Palestine and Israel" conference this Friday and Saturday, providing a rare opportunity to hear some of the most important voices of Israelis and Palestinians working for peace."

Speakers at the conference include Jeff Halper, director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and Rev. Canon Naim Ateek, Palestinian founder and director the The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.

The "Laboring for Peace in Palestine and Israel" Conference is taking place Friday and Saturday, August 29 and 30, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1624 N.E. Hancock, in Portland. The conference opens Friday at 1:00 p.m. and concludes at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $75 for the full conference, $45 for a single day, and sliding scale fee is available by prior arrangement. News reporters and film crews welcome. Please call (503) 653-6625 or e-mail for more information.

1. "Israeli missile attack on Hamas leader misses target and kills passerby", Chris McGreal in Jerusalem, The Guardian (UK), Wednesday August 27, 2003.


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