President of International Progress organisation speaks at ZCCF

ABU DHABI, Dec 9, 2002 (WAM) --The continuation of the tragic escalation in the occupied territories of Palestine and the threats by the Israeli leaders would lead to the break out of a war that would not only destabilize the region, but also endanger the peace and security of the whole world, said Hans Kochler, President of International Progress organization and representative of the NGO connected to the Palestinian issue while speaking on the latest developments in the region at ZCCF.

Kochler added that if the concerned countries continued with their influence in the region and the international community remained silent instead of insisting on the application of the basic dictates of International Law out of collective responsibility for achieving International peace and Security, the series of events caused by the latest escalation in Palestine might lead to a greater conflict, which would be difficult to contain in the region, and perhaps that might threaten peace and security at the international level, according to a press release from ZCCF.

Kochler viewed illegitimate Israeli practices of selective assassinations and killings as a form of state-terrorism and according to the Geneva Convention and the laws of International Criminal Court such acts were considered war crimes and hence, these grave human rights violations had to be investigated by an independent international committee under the auspices of the United Nations Organization.

The President of International Progress Organization called for the dismantling of all Jewish settlements and complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Palestinian lands including Jerusalem for the sake of achieving a lasting settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Kochler added that according to article 39 of UN Charter the situation in Occupied Palestine posed serious threat to international peace and security. As a consequence, a UN force was urgently required to provide protection to the innocent Palestinians there.

He lamented the UN for total failure in undertaking an independent investigation for grave violations of international law by the occupying forces in Jenin refugee camp and other areas. He regretted that the world body had proven incompetent, impotent and irrelevant when it came to the enforcement of international humanitarian law in Palestine.

He pointed out that the latest assassination of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) official not only demanded urgent and independent investigation about Israeli atrocities but also called for a collective and decisive action against such continuous flagrant violations of international human law perpetrated by Israeli forces. Describing the situation in the Middle East as very serious, Kochler said that it all depended on the courage of the UN Secretary General and the members of the UN General Assembly. It is the credibility of the World body at stake and it constitutes a challenge for it after the end of the cold war, he maintained.