[JURIST] Human rights group Amnesty International USA [advocacy website] on Friday accused the US of insufficiently responding to the Gaza crisis [press release] in a letter [text, PDF] sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official Profile]. The letter claimed that the US response has been "lopsided," and urged Rice to push all parties to an immediate cease-fire:
Amnesty International USA is particularly dismayed at the lopsided response by the US government to the recent violence and its lackadaisical efforts to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Amnesty International, as indeed other human rights and humanitarian organizations, is concerned about attacks directed at or resulting in harm to unarmed civilians. We expect the US government to share this concern for all unarmed civilians, be they Israeli or Palestinians, who are caught in this conflict, and we urge the US government to spare no effort to pressure all sides in the conflict to immediately cease indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks which cause civilians fatalities and casualties.
The rights group also pressured the US diplomat to end all US weapons transfers to Israel, and to investigate whether US weapons were used during the attacks.
Last week, Israel launched an attack [Guardian report] against the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip in response to Gaza's recent rocket attacks [AFP report] into Israel. Thus far, the air raids have killed more than 400 Palestinians. Human rights groups, the UN [UN statement, JURIST report], and protesters [Times UK report] across the world have condemned Israel for the attacks, calling them disproportionate and unwarranted as the Gaza attacks killed only 4 Israelis.