The World's Concerns
End Collective Punishment of the Palestinian People
We the undersigned non-governmental and civil society orgainzations strongly condemn Israel's illegal attacks and siege of the Gaza Strip. These ongoing military operations are nothing less than the collective punishment of an entire civilian population. As such they blatently contravene Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits "collective penalties" and all likewise measures of intimidation.
During the period 20th May 2006 and 21st June 2006 Israel's Occupation Forces killed 30 Palestinians, including 7 children, in the Gaza Strip. Among them were 7 members of the Ghalia family who were decimated in an Israeli gun-boat attack on a Gaza beach. All the others were killed by helicopter missile and artillery fire.
We view the frantic international efforts to secure the release of a single Israeli soldier captured in combat in the Occupied Territories as utter hypocrisy and disgraceful double-standards. There are at least 9,800 Palestinians currently being held by the Occupation Forces in Israeli prisons. Of that number, Israel is holding 126 Palestinian women and 450 minors. The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has confirmed that 85% of Palestinian detainees have been tortured during interrogation.
We the undersigned call for an immediate end to the degrading and inhuman treatment of Palestinian prisoners. We demand their immediate release and an end to the extrajudicial killings of civilians.
We urge the British government to honour its treaty obligation to respect and "ensure respect" for the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
The Palestinian Return Centre
The Muslim Association of Britain
Friends of Al-Aqsa
Palestinian Forum in Britain
British Muslim Initiative
Islamic Human Rights Commission
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Arab Media Watch
National Black Students' Alliance
STOP ISRAELI WAR CRIMES - SUPPORT PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS
Vigil in Parliament Square Friday 30th June 2006 5:30 - 7pm.
The Israeli government has amassed troops on the outskirts of Gaza and are moving into Rafah, threatening invasion to rescue one Israeli soldier taken hostage on Sunday 25th June.
There are currently 300 Palestinian children (under 18) and 100 Palestinian women being held hostages in Israeli prisons. They are among 9,000 Palestinians being held, many of whom are in administrative detention - i.e. without trial or charges. Moreover, Israeli leader Ehud Olmert says negotiations 'are not on the agenda.'
The Israeli army have killed 50 Palestinians since the beginning of this month. Any invasion will inevitably lead to many more Palestinians casualties. Since last night the Israeli army has destroyed the electricity supplies of over half of the Gaza Strip and is tightening its closure and strangulation of the area, thus committing an illegal act of collective punishment on the Palestinian Population. The situation is sure to get worse as Israeli tanks move into densely populated civilian areas, that have already suffered heavily from several months of daily shelling and closures.
The PSC is calling for a vigil against Israeli War Crimes and in support of Palestinian Human Rights this Friday (30th June) from 5:30 to 7pm in Parliament Square. We call on all supporters of Palestine to make their presence known in this current emergency.
We would also like to ask you to please contact your MPs and ask them to protest at the attack on Gaza, to ask questions in Parliament and to the Foreign Office. The FO can be contacted directly too, as the actions of the Israeli State contravene International Law and the UK must stop these war crimes from happening.
Editor's note: If you're an American voter, contact your Congressman.
For your MP: http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/l/ and: 0207 219 3000
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH
Tel: 00 44 020 7008 1500
Fax: 00 44 020 7008 2144