Peace Not Walls
​The Lutheran World​ Federation- Jerusalem Program along with 34 other organizations and thousands of people launch a public call to end the Gaza blockade. Sign the petition to #OpenGaza and allow homes, schools, and hospitals to be rebuilt after the 2014 war.

“On the anniversary of the end of the conflict between the government of Israel and Palestinian armed groups, 35 aid, faith, development, and human rights organizations are calling for construction materials like wood, steel bars and cement to be allowed into Gaza so that hospitals, schools and homes can be urgently rebuilt.

More than 635,000 people from around the globe have joined the organizations in backing an unprecedented joint call urging world leaders to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza and remove the restrictions on basic building materials needed to reconstruct the coastal strip.

Last year’s conflict saw over 19,000 homes destroyed, and 100,000 people left homeless. Donor governments have pledged $3.5 billion to rebuild Gaza, but a year on, Israeli restrictions on building materials continue to cause delays. Reconstruction has started on just over 2,000 of the 19,000 homes destroyed last year, and not a single home has been fully rebuilt.

Ibrahem El Shatali, a resident of Gaza City said, ‘Many of my friends and family members have been homeless for months now — how can we live like this, surrounded by rubble with no hope, no future and no prospect of things getting better? All we need are basic building materials and a fresh start.'”

The full petition text supported by the organizations can be seen here and calls on the leaders of the U.S. and the European Union, amongst others, to push for an end to the blockade and allow desperately needed building materials, including wood, aggregate, steel bar, and cement to enter Gaza.

According to research carried out in a recent joint international ​NGO report, the illegal Israeli blockade has obstructed reconstruction efforts, worsening the humanitarian crisis inside the Gaza Strip.” Claiming security concerns, including rocket and other attacks from Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, Israel restricts the entry of materials into Gaza that it defines as “dual-use” (materials that could be used for military activities). Without access to building materials, including wood, aggregate, steel bar, and cement that are on the “dual-use” list, reconstruction efforts have been delayed.

Sign the​ petition and tell everyone — let’s get 1.8 million voices for urgent action, one for each person living in Gaza. Join more than 635,000 people who have already signed!

Quoted text above from the Lutheran World Federation – Jerusalem