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Appeal to World Public Opinion From Palestinians

Gush Shalom
http://www.gush-shalom.org
International release
March 10, 2003

Appeal to World Public Opinion From Palestinians Under Siege

The following appeal is the result of many frantic meetings and consultations among Palestinian activists, NGO's and political organizations - covering the entire spectrum of Palestinian opinion and including people and groups who traditionally oppose each other, but all united in forming The Palestinian Emergency Committees (PEC), in the face of what may happen during Bush's soon-to-launched war on Iraq.

Several of these groups have approached Gush Shalom and other Israeli peace groups. Efforts are underway to coordinate with as wide as possible a range of Israelis, but because of the urgency of the matter Ui Avnery who drafted an Israeli Statement of Support, asked not to wait any longer with disseminating the following. Consultations with fellow peace activists and groups will focus on action on the ground.

From: "Uri Avnery"
Date sent: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 14:09:53 +0200
Subject: War Emergency Palestine-Israel

Hi,

I am sending you two documents: the Palestinian Emergency Appeal and the Israeli Support Statement. In view of the coming war, they are urgent. Salamaat, Shalom,

uri

Appeal to World Public Opinion
From Palestinians under siege

World attention is focused nowadays on Iraq and the effect of the US-led attack on regional stability. Millions of people all over the world demonstrate their opposition to the war and attempt to avert it. However, the message we, the Palestinian civilian population, are receiving from Israeli officials is threatening us with dangerous consequences.

Statements made over the last two months by both Israeli officials and media indicate what they are proposing, planning and preparing to execute in the Palestinian occupied territories in case of war against Iraq. Such statements could be meant as intimidation, deterrent or real threat. In view of our past and present experience, we, the Palestinians, tend to see them as a threat endangering our very existence in this land of ours.

The threats published just recently by the Israeli media include, among many others:

-- Imposing a total curfew on the Palestinian people and land.

-- Declaring the Palestinian territories closed military areas, thus preventing foreign and local journalists from operating in the territories. Such measures are clearly intended to prevent the public exposure of the possible Israeli actions against the Palestinians.

-- Continuing the Israeli practice of mass detention of Palestinian activists without charges, and the destruction of Palestinian homesand infrastructure.

-- Possible mass transfer of Palestinian civilian population from certain locations adjacent to the proposed Israeli security wall. These areas belong to the occupied West Bank.

--Possible efforts to transfer Palestinians from the occupied territories to neighboring countries.

--Possible elimination of the elected president of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Yasser Arafat, or his deportation to a remote area.

The Palestinian Emergency Committees (PEC) were established in the Palestinian territories to undertake the specific tasks of organizing the community during the possible war on Iraq, and to highlight the need for Palestinian readiness for possible drastic Israeli measures.

PEC is a coalition of NGOs, national organizations, charitable societies, professional unions, political parties, ministries and public figures, operating through a coordinating office in Ramallah with national outreach and representation.

We ask you to form an International Committee for the Protection of the Palestinian People, and to take immediate steps to prevent the Israeli government from taking advantage of the situation created by the war on Iraq.

Your support is very much needed and could help in preventing further suffering and pain and the death of innocent Palestinians.

For further information and contact, please write to: protectpalestinians@yahoo.com Ramallah, Occupied Palestine, March 3rd, 2003

***

Israeli Statement of Support for the Palestinian Emergency Appeal

As Israelis, we strongly support the “Appeal to World Opinion” published by the Palestinian Emergency Committee.

We call on all people of goodwill to set up urgently an International Committee for the Protection of the Palestinian People.

The dangers posed to the Palestinian population in case of an American attack on Iraq are real and severe.

Extreme right-wing elements in our political and military leadership may try to exploit the war situation in order to commit acts of “transfer”. Such acts violate Israeli and international law and endanger the future of Israel.

Peace between the peoples of Israel and Palestine is the only solid basis for the security and well-being of our state.

ISRAELI EMERGENCY COMMITTEE

info@gush-shalom.org


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