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Right to Education

Letter Writing Campaign for Rafah: Demand Action Not Words

Written by admin  •  Saturday, 22.05.2004, 15:35
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Appeal , Right to Education Campaign, 22 May 2004

Join the letter writing campaign to the European Union and the United Nations telling them that words of condemnation of the war crimes in Rafah are not enough and it is time to take action. Copy the suggested letter formats below and send your letter by email or fax to the European Union and the United Nations. It is time for international sanctions against Israel. It is time to bring an international protection presence to Gaza and West Bank. It is time to hold accountable those persons responsible for the war crimes committed in Rafah and other Palestinian areas by bringing them before the International Court of Justice.

LETTER TO THE EUROPEAN UNION (United Nations Letter below)

Dear Mr Javier Solana

The European Union has condemned the destruction in Rafah by the Israeli Occupation Army. The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution condemning the killing of Palestinian civilians in Rafah and calling on Israel to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes. Amnesty International and other international human rights agencies have recognized that Israel is guilty of war crimes and grave breaches of humanitarian law, international human rights law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We, as Palestinians, commend the international community for their condemnation of Israel’s atrocities against the people of Rafah. But we also wish to remind you that since 1948 our history has been replete with international condemnations and Security Council resolutions and yet we are still vulnerable and our path to justice is still long. The international community continues to fail us after 56 years of dispossession and violence against the Palestinian people because no punitive action against Israel has ever been taken.

Mr Javier Solana, words of condemnation have become vividly insufficient while the European Union maintains its position as Israel’s major trading partner and continues to forge ever-closer links through agreements such as the recent EU Scientific Cooperation Agreement with Israel. Birzeit University expressed its concern over this agreement in a letter to the European Union in February 2004 on the grounds that it could “only be looked upon as further support to Israel and could possibly encourage Israel further in its continued military occupation and its violations of human rights”.

The European Union’s Association Agreement with Israel is expressly contingent on Israel’s observing basic human rights laws and yet these clauses have never been invoked. Until Israel complies with the European Unions’s principles of respect for human and civil rights, as outlined by the ‘Copenhagen Criteria’, all agreements and relations with Israel should be suspended.

It is time to suspend all agreements and relations between Israel and the European Union and to impose full sanctions – similar to those imposed on South Africa – to isolate Israel internationally until it complies with the EU principles, international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

It is time to bring an international protection presence to the occupied Gaza and the West Bank to ensure the safety of the Palestinian civilian population living under occupation.

It is time to hold accountable those persons responsible for the war crimes committed in Rafah and other areas in the occupied Palestinian territories by bringing them before the International Court of Justice.

We call upon the European Union to place the necessary pressure on Israel to unconditionally halt all military operations against the Palestinian civilian population. But, of course, the only way to ensure a permanent end to Israeli war crimes and atrocities against the Palestinian people is to end the occupation.

Yours sincerely,

Name
Student/Employee Number
Birzeit University, Palestine

Send your letter by email or fax to the following people and please remember to copy Right2Edu@birzeit.edu so we can keep track of how many letters are sent:

Mr Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
Email: presse.cabinet@consilium.eu.int
Fax: 0032 22 85 56 94

Mr Bertie Ahern, President of the European Council
Fax: +353-1-676 4048

LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS

Dear Mr Kofi Annan

The United Nations Security Council has condemned the killing and destruction in Rafah by the Israeli Occupation Army. Amnesty International and other international human rights agencies have recognized that Israel is guilty of war crimes and grave breaches of humanitarian law, international human rights law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We, as Palestinians, commend the international community for their condemnation of Israel’s atrocities against the people of Rafah. But we also wish to remind you that since 1948 our history has been replete with Security Council resolutions and international condemnations and yet we are still vulnerable and our path to justice is still long. The United Nations and the international community continue to fail us after 56 years of dispossession and violence against the Palestinian people because no punitive action against Israel has ever been taken. Mr Kofi Annan, we implore you to take action as words have become vividly insufficient.

It is time to bring an international protection presence to the occupied Gaza and the West Bank to ensure the safety of the Palestinian civilian population living under occupation.

It is time to impose full sanctions on Israel — similar to those imposed on South Africa, as your Special Rapporteur, Mr. John Dugard has recently argued — to isolate it internationally until it complies with international law and pertinent Security Council resolutions.

It is time to hold accountable those persons responsible for the war crimes committed in Rafah and other areas in the occupied Palestinian territories by bringing them before the International Court of Justice.

We call upon the United Nations to place the necessary pressure on Israel to unconditionally and immediately halt all military operations against the Palestinian civilian population. But, of course, the only way to ensure a permanent end to Israeli war crimes and atrocities against the Palestinian people is to end the occupation.

Yours sincerely,

Name
Student/Employee Number
Birzeit University, Palestine

Send your letter by email or fax to the following people and please remember to copy Right2Edu@birzeit.edu so we can keep track of how many letters are sent:

H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary General United Nations
Email: ecu@un.org
Fax: + 212 963 – 2155

Mr. Terje Rod Larsen, Personal Representative of the Secretary General to the United Nations in Palestine
Email: unsco@palnet.com
Fax: + 972 8 282 0966

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