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Concern at escalation in Gaza, Lebanon, Israel

18 July 2006


PSI expresses extreme concern about the escalation of violence in Gaza, Lebanon and Israel.

Public Services International General Secretary, Hans Engelberts, today expressed the organisation’s extreme concern about the escalation of violence in Gaza, Lebanon and Israel.

“PSI calls for an immediate halt to the military activities which are causing untold hardship and suffering”, he said. “We call for a negotiated ceasefire to be monitored by a UN force. Without peace and security there is no possible means of building a future for all those living in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Israel, and surrounding countries,” he added

“Millions of innocent citizens' lives are being put at risk. The public service infrastructure has been the main target of the military. This has resulted in the loss of basic human necessities, such as electricity, water, food and access to health services. The situation in the health care sector is critical. Medical staff is unable to carry out their functions of providing care and support to those in need.

Many families are being forced to leave their homes for an unknown future. Large numbers of workers have lost their livelihood and others are working without pay. This humanitarian crisis adds to the downward spiral of suffering and violence.

PSI calls on the world's political leaders to demonstrate the courage and determination to stop this violence. PSI requests its affiliated organisations to make representations to their governments calling for them to take decisive action to achieve a negotiated ceasefire to be monitored by a UN force, based on mutual recognition of sovereign states in accordance with UN resolution 242 and 338, as well as the full implementation of the Road Map for peace.”



The statement from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and PSI affiliated unions, the Health Services Union and the Public Services and Municipal Union is below for information.


Public Services International (PSI) is a global trade union federation which represents over 20 million public service workers, through 640 affiliated unions in about 150 countries. PSI is an autonomous body, which works in association with federations covering other sectors of the workforce and with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). PSI is an officially recognised non-governmental organisation for the public sector within the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and has consultative status with ECOSOC and observer status with other UN bodies such as UNCTAD and UNESCO.

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AFFILLIATED PALESTINIAN UNIONS CALL ON PSI FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION ON THE SITUATION IN GAZA AND LEBANON
Health services union/PSI
Public Services and Municipal Union/PSI
Palestine
JULY 17, 2006

The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and all its affiliate unions strongly condemn the massive Israeli military invasions of Gaza and Lebanon and calls on all PSI affiliates to demand the cessation of the irresponsible and totally unacceptable Israeli policy of imposing collective punishment on millions of innocent civilians. The international community must exercise its responsibility for the protection of the fundamental rights of all to live in an environment of peace and security, free from occupation, oppression and the arbitrary use of force as stipulated in international law and human rights conventions.

The deliberate Israeli destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza and Lebanon, such as the bombing of electrical power stations, bridges and roads has resulted in the death of scores of civilians and is leading to a humanitarian disaster. Over two-thirds of the population of Gaza of 1.3 million is being denied access to water and electricity, aggravating an already deteriorating situation due to the long-standing Israeli economic and military siege. The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon is also reaching unprecedented proportions as water and food are becoming in short supply in the major cities of Beirut, Sidon, and Tyre.

PGFTU and its affiliates are dedicated to working for a humane future for its members and their children. The brutal Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands and the massive violence against Palestinian civilians must end if there is to be a just and sustainable peace based on, international law, human rights and equality.

Signature
ANAN QADRI
PSI Executive Committee Member


ENDS

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