Petition to UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Mary Robinson
Endorsed by over 16,000
Novemeber 32, 2000

Palestinians Demand INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION.

As a Step towards Implementation of their
Right to SELF-DETERMINATION and Refugees' RIGHT of RETURN
Over 16,000 Palestinians, as well as individuals and organizations
worldwide, endorsed - within nine days of its launching - a petition
appealing to UN High Commissioner Mary Robinson to "call for the
implementation of the Palestinian right to self-determination and, as
a first step, to call for an international protection force for the
Palestinian people, before continued violence against the Palestinian
society results in massive destruction for the second time in 52
years."

The petition was signed, among others, by some 3,000 residents of the
cities and villages in the Hebron, Jerusalem and Ramallah area;
representatives of Palestinian political parties, public
institutions, NGOs and university student organizations; refugees and
their community organizations in the camps of 'Aida, Beit Jibrin
('Azza), al-'Arroub, and Balata; over 100 representatives of
political parties, unions, women committees, NGOs and refugee
organizations in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria; and more than 13,000
academics and professionals, Palestinian expatriates, solidarity and
human rights activists and their organizations in Arab countries,
Europe, Asia and the United States.

Implementation of international law and UN resolutions in our region
must no longer be conditional on the consent of the Israeli occupier.
The urgency of this Palestinian demand is highlighted by the Israeli
cabinet decision - in the wake of a Palestinian attack against
Israeli settlers in Gaza on 20 November - to escalate its military
repression of the Palestinian uprising by more intensive shelling of
Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps, and to tighten sieges
and blockades aimed at strangulating the Palestinian people's
economic and social infrastructure. At this moment, and following the
Israeli air-raid on Gaza on 20 November, extensive shooting by
Israeli military and settlers, as well as shelling of Palestinian
communities, is being reported from all over the occupied Gaza Strip
and West Bank. 250 Palestinians have been killed, 86 of them minors
below the age of 18 (data of 21-11), and more then 10,000 injured
since 28 September 2000, and the Israeli government is determined to
continue the colonization of the 1967 occupied West Bank and Gaza
Strip, even at the expense of another war in the Middle East.
The petition, sponsored by Media Alternative on Palestine (MAP) and
BADIL Resource Center, was launched on 11 November 2000 on the
occasion of UN High Commissioner Robinson's visit to Palestine. It is
presented to her today, in order to emphasize the urgency of rapid
action by the UN Commission on Human Rights, both towards the UN
Security Council's vote on the deployment of international protection
forces expected for Friday, 25 November, and towards the
establishment of a new, rights-based and UN-supervised mechanism for
a just and durable solution of the historical Israeli-Palestinian
conflict.

Attached: Appeal text
------------------------------------------------

AN URGENT CALL to MRS. MARY ROBINSON  UN HIGH COMMISSIONER on HUMAN RIGHTS

WE, the undersigned, call urgently on Mrs. Mary Robinson to uphold,
in full, the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on
behalf of the Palestinian people, at this most critical and dangerous
historical juncture. In particular, we call on her urgently to affirm
Article #1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which calls for the inalienable right of all peoples to self-
determination, and which continues to be grievously and
systematically violated by Israel's occupation, and by its refusal to
accept the right of return.

The right to self-determination and continued occupation stand in
fundamental conflict. Continued occupation is the root cause of the
present situation. It is the machinery of occupation which produces
the systematic violation of the range of other individual and
collective rights provided for by the Covenant, including the right
to liberty and security of person, the right to freedom of movement,
the right to control one's own natural resources, and others. It is
the machinery of occupation which produces settlements, closures,
checkpoints, home demolitions, land confiscation, destruction of
crops, and wanton killings by settlers and occupation forces, which
the Palestinian people have continued to endure even during the last
7 years under cover of the peace process.

Occupation can be maintained only by violence or the threat of
violence. Instead of respecting the principles of human rights and
international law, and acknowledging the Palestinian right to self-
determination, Israel has declared war on the Palestinian people. It
has openly unleashed an arsenal of military violence against them. In
just six weeks, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed and over
six thousand wounded. We demand a total end to the occupation. We
appeal urgently to  the High Commissioner for Human Rights to call for the implementation
of the Palestinian right to self-determination, and as a first step,
to call for an international protection force for the Palestinian
people, before continued violence against Palestinian society results
in massive destruction for the second time in 52 years.
------------------------------------------------
* For additional information on the current uprising, Israeli
repression, relevant UN resolutions, and the Palestinian demand for
international protection, see
www.badil.org/Intifada2000/Intifada2000.html
* For more information about Media Alternatives on Palestine (MAP),
please contact: mapalestine@hotmail.com