I.P.O. Information Service



International Progress Organization condemns serious violations of international humanitarian law in Lebanon,

supports "Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition"


Vienna, 20 July 2006/P/RE/19810c-is


In a statement issued today, the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.) has condemned the brutal attacks by Israel on Lebanese territory, in particular the indiscriminate targeting of civilians and the deliberate and systematic destruction of the country's civilian infrastructure. According to the I.P.O., the ongoing military operations are an excessive and totally disproportionate use of force and a form of collective punishment; those measures violate basic provisions of international humanitarian law, in particular of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949 (Fourth Geneva Convention) and the Hague Convention with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague Convention IV of 1907). Furthermore, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities constitutes a war crime according to Art. 8 (2) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

While deploring the inability of the United Nations Security Council to order an immediate cessation of hostilities, the International Progress Organization appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to remind all States party to the Fourth Geneva Convention of their collective obligation to ensure the respect of the provisions of international humanitarian law. According to the ICRC, the "obligation to distinguish between civilians and civilian objects, on the one hand, and military objectives, on the other, is at the core of international humanitarian law and must be complied with at all times."

The International Progress Organization declares its support to the Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition, which it has received from the people in the besieged country, and urges all its members and concerned citizens worldwide to join this appeal:


Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition

To the concerned citizens of the world:

"Killing innocent civilians is NOT an act of self-defense. Destroying a sovereign nation is NOT a measured response."

Lebanese civilians have been under the constant attack of the state of Israel for several days. The State of Israel, in disregard to international law and the
Fourth Geneva Convention, is launching a maritime and air siege targeting the entire population of the country. Innocent civilians are being collectively punished in Lebanon by the state of Israel in deliberate acts of terrorism as described in Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.

The Lebanese people feel left out by the world that is turning a blind eye on the savagery of the Israeli state. Israel does not seem to be capable of approaching any problem outside the realm of the military power bestowed on it by the government of the United States of America and other
Western governments.

We are writing you this letter in the hope that this massacre is immediately stopped. It is the universal duty of each individual to defend the innocent and expose the truth. The num
ber of civilian victims of the Israeli operations is increasing by the hour. The viciousness of the attacks has attained terrifying levels where a child has been cut in three while another was half burned.

The Israeli war machine, in its blind savagery, is destroying not only our lives but the foundations that could help the civilians survive beyond the
onslaught. The Israeli Defense Forces are destroying in a few hours what has taken Lebanon years and billions of dollars to rebuild.

Up until now more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been killed, hundreds more wounded, bridges and infrastructure destroyed, refugees are leaving Beirut in droves and
, worst of all, the enforced siege might lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the next 48 hours. There must be an end to this cycle of violence and continuous violation of international laws and basic ethical behavior.

Between the blindness of the international community and the deafness of the Arab one, the besieged Lebanese population has no way out.

Peace begins with justice.


  • ICRC Press Release, 19 July 2006

END/International Progress Organization supports "Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition"/P/RE/19810c-is