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