I.P.O. Information Service


» Starvation Policy against Palestinians Is an International Crime «

Declaration of the International Progress Organization

 Vienna, 2 June 2006/P/RE/19734c-is

In a statement issued today, the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations, strongly condemned the de facto state of siege imposed by Israel and Western powers against occupied Palestine. According to the I.P.O., the suspension of economic and financial aid to the democratically elected Palestinian Authority is a grave violation of human rights and, in connection with the ongoing occupation, constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law, in particular of the respective provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. According to verified reports, the suspension of aid and the illegal withholding, by Israel, of revenues and customs duties that belong to the Palestinian Authority have led to a humanitarian emergency, depriving Palestinian families of the means to secure adequate nutrition and the public health sector to provide vital medicines to the hospitals, a situation which has resulted in the lack of proper treatment particularly of the chronically ill, and in certain cases the death, of patients.

According to the I.P.O., the Palestinian people are the victim of collective punishment for the exercise of their inalienable democratic rights. It is highly ironic, even cynical, that those countries that have insisted on free and fair elections in Palestine – in particular the United States and the member states of the European Union – now take punitive action because they do not agree with the outcome of the elections. This policy conveys the message of “either fake democracy or starvation” and reveals utter contempt for democratic procedures on the part of Western countries.

In its condemnation of the starvation policy, the International Progress Organization joined a group of more than a dozen British and Irish NGOs, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and Pax Christi (UK), that have criticized the boycott as “an act of gross inhumanity and political provocation” and called upon the European Union to reverse its starvation policy against the Palestinians immediately. According to the I.P.O., the resolution adopted yesterday by the European Parliament – calling for the activation of a temporary aid mechanism “as soon as possible” – falls far short of what is actually required in this emergency situation and does in no way address the real issue, namely the illegal linkage between humanitarian aid and politics. The I.P.O. further regretted the inaction by the Presidency of the European Union (Austria) in this matter that affects the democratic integrity and international credibility of the EU.

The International Progress Organization called upon the United Nations General Assembly, and in particular the Assembly’s Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to put the issue on the agenda of the forthcoming “International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace” in Vienna and, because of the paralysis of the Security Council in all matters related to Palestine, to consider convening an emergency special session according to the provisions of the Uniting for Peace Resolution (377 [A] 1950).

END/» Starvation Policy against Palestinians Is an International Crime « -- Declaration of the International Progress Organization/2006-06-02/P/RE/19734c-is