LAW Calls for Immediate International Protection Presence and Stronger EU Role

19 April 2001

Yesterday, members of the EU and other Western states clearly demonstrated their lack of political will and genuine desire to assist in ending Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories when they abstained from voting in favour of a weakly worded resolution for measures including calling upon relevant UN bodies to urgently consider the best ways of providing the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people. International protection is imperative if we are to prevent any further decline in the region and regain stability and security for all peoples living within Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories - both Palestinians and Jews. The lack of resolve and failure to act encourages the Israeli occupation forces to take even more repressive and violent methods against Palestinian civilians. This in turn increases the desperation of the Palestinian population, and the result is an explosive and highly dangerous situation. It is no coincidence, for example, that after the US had vetoed the UN Security Council resolution calling for the provision of an appropriate mechanism to protect people from unchecked Israeli human rights violations, the bombings of Palestinian areas (including of civilian homes, schools and workplaces) resumed in full force. The EU has indicated that it must take a hands off approach and will only act when the situation becomes dire. How many more are required to suffer and die, and how many more grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention must go unchecked, before the situation is considered to be sufficiently dire to act? The answer seems to be that: 1 million Palestinians now under the poverty line with the most destitute feared by the Red Cross to start starving, as a result of the Israeli siege (total closures, restrictions on movement) and punitive Israeli economic controls; Palestinian civilians unable to reach their work and schools; attacks on civilians (including by live ammunition shootings and bombings) in their homes, schools, hospitals and workplaces; arbitrary arrest/cases of torture and other cruel treatment; extra judicial killings; provocative increase in military presence; land confiscation and house demolitions making way for a provocative expansion of further settlement units in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; are not considered sufficient for any immediate action or genuine resolve to take concrete action such as providing an international protection presence for the Palestinians. LAW urgently calls on the international community, in particular the EU, to take a stronger role in defusing this dangerous situation for the sake of all the peoples in the region. We cannot overemphasise the importance of sending to the region an effective and publicly reporting international protection presence, to be assisted if necessary, by an international protection force.

LAW publications and press releases since 1994 are available on our website at

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Fdration Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network.

Rapporti di LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights

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