4 April 2002
Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights calls upon the European Union to intervene on behalf of the Palestinian people whose conditions under Israeli occupation have seriously deteriorated in the last month.
Immediate direct action must be taken before the situation worsens.
In the last week alone most of the West Bank has been reoccupied by the Israeli military.
Cities such as Ramallah and Bethlehem have been surrounded, invaded, and partially destroyed.
The Israeli Occupation Forces have designated these areas as â€œclosed military zonesâ€? making it almost impossible for foreign journalists to enter them.
Worse, as closed military zones, emergency medical teams are unable to enter or leave these areas to evacuate the sick and wounded.
One spokesman for the Palestine Red Crescent Society described the situation this past week as the worst in thirty years.
The dead cannot be properly buried and hospital morgues have been filled to capacity.
Israeli forces fired on a UN convoy on its way to Ramallah with basic food supplies after it had obtained clearance from the Israeli military authorities.
The government of Israel continues, on a daily basis, to commit grave breaches of international law including violations of the 4th Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilians in Times of War.
Additionally, the Sharon government is guilty of crimes against humanity as defined by legal authorities at the International Court of Justice.
These crimes are in addition to daily violations of basic human rights; rights that are supposed to be guaranteed regardless of the political, social, and economic circumstances of a particular region.
Israel has maintained close economic cooperation with the European Union under the Association Agreement signed in the wake of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Article 2 of this agreement guarantees respect for the basic human rights of all peoples.
As daily violations against the human rights of Palestinians continue, we question continued economic ties between these two parties.
It should also be pointed out that Israel has caused more than 17 million dollars of damage to buildings in the Palestinian territories built with aid generously granted by the European Union.
As this week comes to a close, Israel has reoccupied and caused serious damage in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Salfit, Nablus, Jenin, Qalqiliya, and Tulkarem.
Many fear that this situation will continue to worsen and spread to other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Under these circumstances, we appeal to the European Union to re-examine its relationship with Israel and to act immediately to stop the carnage and destruction occurring in Palestine.
Failure to act could lead to dire circumstances for the entire Middle East.