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Urgent Appeal from Birzeit University, Palestine

Urgent Appeal from Birzeit University, Palestine


March 10th, 2001

We, faculty and staff at Birzeit University, appeal to our colleagues and friends around the world to help us in delivering our simple but urgent message -- let our people live! We will be delivering this message in peaceful marches of protest to the Israeli soldiers and tanks that currently prevent us from reaching our University by the only road that allows accessibility and that has been recently blocked.

The suffering of Palestinians in surrounding villages who are cut off from their livelihoods, health care, schools and markets is also acute. So far protests have only been met with bullets and tear gas. We need your help to bring our message to the world. The wave of violence against the Palestinian population has reached unprecedented proportions. The Israeli army's policy of siege through blocking roads and digging trenches around towns and villages has been escalating, making it practically impossible to meet people's very basic needs.

This policy has now reached Birzeit University, preventing us and our students from reaching campus to continue our classes, labs and academic life. On 7 March 2001 in the dead of night, the Israeli army destroyed portions of the only road linking the University to Ramallah, gouging out trenches and destroying about 400 meters of asphalt. This damage to the only road linking Ramallah City to Birzeit village and 33 other villages with a population of about 65000 has resulted in the total disruption of daily life. To date, cars, ambulances and provisions are not able to cross to and from Birzeit and surrounding villages.

Most Palestinian populated areas have already been hermetically sealed, disregarding all standards of dealing with civilians and contravening international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention. These measures are, in the full sense of the term, war crimes. With these actions, it becomes clear that such policies are part of a long term strategy that Israel is pursuing in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank . This strategy has been adopted by successive Israeli Governments, both of Barak and Sharon, in order to subjugate the entire population, and will them to accept the unacceptable.

We call on you to ACT NOW:

1.Call for an immediate end to the closure policies.

2. Call for the international protection of the Palestinian population.

3. Demand that Israel abide by international law.

Call the nearest Israeli Embassy in your area, or send your protests to the Israeli Government on these email addresses. Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Israeli Minister of Defense at and Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister at

For further follow up, please visit the Birzeit Website at

-----end forwarded-------

Gush Shalom suggestion for a protest letter (NB: we included also fax numbers for those who want to do an extra effort to make an impact):

To Foreign Minister & Nobel Peace Price Laureate Mr Shimon Peres fax: 972-2-5303506;

To Defence Minister Mr Binyamin Ben-Eliezer fax: 972-2-566 4838;

(Please, send copies to the Foreign Minister in your own country & the local Israeli Embassy, and make a letter to the editor version for your own paper.)

While Sharon spoke on the day of inauguration in the Knesset of "stretching his hand in peace to the Palestinians" the army was reading his lips and intensified the siege and strangling of Palestinian life. The government in which you decided to take part will be judged by what it does, not by idle words.


Sign the "Our Jerusalem, Capital of Two States" petition
full text in Hebrew, Arabic and English at


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