Human rights situation in the Gaza Strip – Human Rights Council 6th special session – NGO statement (Nord Sud XXI)

Written statement* submitted by Nord Sud XXI, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[22 January 2008]

*   This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

Nord Sud XXI condemns the continuing international crimes being perpetrated by the government of Israel against the people of Palestine in the West Bank and in Gaza. This naked aggression is indiscriminate and intended to kill innocent persons. No reasonable person can believe it to have any other result.

In recent days, Israel enhanced its deadly grip on the Gaza Strip imposing a collective punishment on all Palestinians living there. Basic humanitarian relief is being denied to the Palestinian people. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed and even more injured by attacks that are indiscriminate and disproportionate. Elderly women and small children are the victims of this continuing Israeli violence.

Israel's violence against Palestinians is part of an ongoing and intentional policy aimed at destroying the Palestinian people.

Since 2000, almost a thousand Palestinian children have been killed by violence together with over a hundred Israel children. Since 2000 over 4,500 (forty five hundred) Palestinians have been killed together with over 1,000 Israelis. And Since 2000 almost 32,000 Palestinians have been injured together with almost 7,000 Israelis. But while both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered there is no comparison between their suffering.

While the Palestinians, a recognized National Liberation Movement fighting for their self-determination, have captured one of the soldiers of foreign and oppressive occupiers of their land, the Israelis have detained almost 11,000 Palestinians, many arbitrarily and often subjecting them to torture, cruel, or inhumane treatment. While no Israeli homes have been intentionally destroyed, more than 4,100 Palestinian homes have been intentionally destroyed by Israel. And while Palestinian homes are being destroyed, Israel has built more than 220 settlements on Palestinian land. Palestine has built none on Israeli land. Let there be no mistake, there is no equality of suffering, there is occupation, oppression and violence mainly by Israel.

All the suffering in Palestine is mainly the consequence of Israel's occupation of Palestine. Israel has carried out its killing and destruction in violation of no less than sixty-five United Nations Resolutions, but still the UN has failed to take effect action to stop the carnage and suffering visited upon the Palestinian people.

This suffering must be ended.

We again plead with the States present at this Special Session to take effective action. We again demand that Israel comply with its international legal obligations.  Will you, the states of the Human Rights Council, the governments with the power and authority to make Israel respect the law, will you finally act to this end the sixty years of Palestinian suffering. It has been sixty years since you stated your first universal commitment to achieving human rights in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nowhere in the world have these aspiration been denied so long, so consciously, and so seriously as they have been in Palestine. We urge you to finally make these aspirations a reality for Palestinians.

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