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Back Activities Alerts URGENT ALERT:Palestine – Write to Volvo demanding an end in illegal projects in Israel, currently the production of the Mars Defender armoured bus

URGENT ALERT:Palestine – Write to Volvo demanding an end in illegal projects in Israel, currently the production of the Mars Defender armoured bus

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Volvo in partnership with Israeli company Merkavim Ltd to design and build armoured bus, the Mars Defender, which transport settlers and IDF soldiers throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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02 November 2009

URGENT ALERT:Palestine – Write to Volvo demanding an end in illegal projects in Israel, currently the production of the Mars Defender armoured bus

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter


1. Summary

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is alarmed at reports from Electronic Intifada (http://tinyurl.com/yzfeu2k) regarding the production of armoured buses, the Mars Defender, for use in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

This action is in clear violation of Article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention, therefore we request campaigners to write to the Volvo Group urging them to operate within International law and cease the production of vehicles used in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.


2. Background

According to Electronic Intifada, Volvo buses are co owner of Mervakim Ltd, an Israeli company specialising in transport technology. Mervakim Ltd have designed and constructed the Mars Defender armoured bus. These buses are supplied to the transport company, EGGED who mobilise Israeli settlers, throughout the occupied territories.  

Promotional videos by Mervakin Ltd show the Mars Defender driven through the West Bank and other occupied territories, as well as showing Israeli defence soldiers boarding these buses, (http://www.merkavim.co.il/movies_library/merkavim.wmv and http://www.merkavim.co.il/upload/defender.wmv)

According to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israeli settlements are illegal. One of the conditions outlined in Article 49, states that the Occupying Power is not allowed deporting or transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. Therefore the function of the Mars Defender in the occupied territories plays a fundamental role in the illegal actions of the Israeli authorities.

We urge all campaigners to write to the Volvo group to withdraw from partaking in illegal projects that maintain a brutal occupation causing the suffering and ethnic cleansing of a whole nation.

3. Action required

Write to the Volvo Group Customer Relations or alternatively phone them urging them to comply with international law as well as their own code of conduct.


4. Sample letter
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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 Below is a sample letter to Volvo Customer Relations, or you may submit it to them via their website on http://www.volvocars.com/uk/footer/contact/Pages/_customer_relations_contact.aspx or alternatively call them to verbally express your concern on 08457 564636.

[Your name]
[Your address]

VCUK Customer Relations
Abbey Road
Whitley Coventry
CV3 4LF
[Date]

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Volvo Mars defender buses operating illegally in the Palestinian Occupied territories

I am very disturbed by the recent actions of Volvo in Israel regarding the joint project with Mervakim Ltd, to design and build the Mars Defender armoured bus. These buses are used to mobilise illegal Israeli settlers around the occupied Palestinian territories.

Are you aware that this violates Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which clearly states that the Occupying Power is not allowed to deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies?

I urge you to withdraw your involvement in this project because not only is it supporting an illegal entity, but it also breaches the Volvo code of conduct, which claims to endorse human rights.
The brutal occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, breaches international Human Rights laws and its supporters are also blameworthy of facilitating the barbarity.

Considering the current economic climate it would not be advantageous for a large corporation such as yours to be targeted in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which will inevitably happen if you continue to support and maintain the illegal and brutal occupation of Palestine.

I look forward to your justification regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Please help IHRC by visiting http://www.ihrc.org.uk/catalog and making a donation or buying an item from our on-line store.

If you want to subscribe to the IHRC list please send an email to subscribe@ihrc.org

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If you are reusing this alert, please cite the source.

For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

Join the Struggle for Justice. Join IHRC.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org

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