At the Euro-Med civil Forum held in Marseille, (10-12) November 2000, the NGO’s adopted a resolution entitled “Palestine, Act now”. The resolution mandated a fact-finding mission to Palestine. This mission constituted that the closure of the Palestinian Territories renders the daily life for the civilian population unbearable.
The Oslo negotiation process, mediated by the United States, has turned our eyes towards the war of siege and human catastrophe. The Palestinians are victims of total impunity disposed by the Israeli State, which refuses the implementation of United Nations resolutions and the application of Geneva Conventions.
We call upon concerned NGOs and citizens to sign this text calling for a European position, which became now more essential, especially when the United States used their veto power to oppose the United Nations Security Council resolution that calls for the appointment and sending of an international observation force to the Palestinian Territories.
Oslo has declared the principle of “Exchange of land for peace” and the “settlement between the parties” when the international community had failed to impose international resolutions. It has been accepted under the American pressure to put the law within brackets. Moreover, in the past seven years of negotiations, we have witnessed consecutive postponements of dates and commitments by the various Israeli governments. At the same time, Israel was implementing a systematic policy of land expropriation and occupying land that is supposed to be recovered by the Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.
This way, the wagering on land and the principle of exchange has shrunk continuously even before the beginning of Permanent Status Negotiations. As a result of non-agreement, the partition of Palestinian Territories to zones A, B, and C, that was originally a dynamic plan for gradual evacuation and progressive restitution of sovereignty, has now culminated in an apartheid regime.
The “total closure” that was recently endorsed by Mr. Sharon is a real siege that confines the main seven cities in zone A. This is in addition to the fact that it institutionalizes the isolation of villages in zones B and C in sealed compartments which are geared by the system of bypass roads that connects the colonies.
The paramilitary militia of armed colonies and the general military control impose a total interruption of the flow of all the vital supplies that were hardly maintained since last October. This is when the famine has started and the beginning of distribution of alimentary supplies under the supervision of the United Nations.
This way, Mr. Sharon is risking the provocation of frustrated violence that will be hard to control and that will compromise a pretext for the escalation of massacres. This strategy is badly described by the media that dares to depict the exact image. The repression of Palestinians by the Sharon government by violating the 4th Geneva Convention is a militarized maneuver deplored even by General Powell, Secretary of State of the United States of America, since it risks to lead the region into war
The international public opinion should be clearer than governments. Creating repression that is worse than the situation before Oslo, transforming occupation to apartheid, installation of a permanent regime of denial of the right to self-determination, is politically inadmissible for Democratic people.
We hereby call upon the European Union, in particular the European states, the Troika (Sweden, Belgium, and the European Commission), Mr. Patten, in charge of External Relations and Mr. Solana responsible for External and Security policy for the European Union
· to clearly retake the responsibility for a new process for peace that particularly reinforces principles of security and shared peace originating from the Barcelona conference for Euro-Mediterranean Partnership;
· to designate the Israeli government as being responsible for the grave violations of the Security Council resolutions, international law, international humanitarian law, and in particular the 4th Geneva Convention;
· to implement economic and legal sanctions stated by conventions and treaties in particular those relating to relations between the members of the European Union and Israel;
· to reaffirm once again that the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council resolutions related to Palestine will not fall by prescription;
· to urgently determine sending a separation force for maintaining the Palestinian Territories and protecting it from the excessive use of military force of occupation and thus to prepare the retreat of the Israeli army from the West Bank and Gaza within the framework of a comprehensive settlement based on the United Nations resolutions.
This appeal is an initiative of the members of the Euromed NGO missions in Palestine:
Jean-Paul CHAGNOLLAND/ university professor, Thierry FABRE/ researcher at the Mediterranean Mission of Human Sciences, Pierre GALAND/ European Coordination Committee for Palestine, Alain JOXE/ Director of studies at the Institute of Higher Studies in Social Sciences, Monique PRIM/ Forum of citizens of the Mediterranean, Giovanna TANZARELLA/ coordination of network “Culture of euromed civil forum”.
With the support of: Association France-Palestine, Medical Association Franco-Palestinian (AMFP), International Federation of the leagues of Human Rights (FIDH), French league of Human Rights, MRAP, Palestine 33.
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