Palestine -- Condemnation of Israeli State Terrorism -- Call for United Nations Protection Force

Vienna, 1 August 2001/P/RE/17252c-is

In messages sent to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Harri Holkeri, to the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia, and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, the President of the International Progress (I:P.O.), Dr. Hans Koechler, renewed his organization's call for the dispatch of a United Nations Protection Force to the occupied Palestinian territories.

The President of the I.P.O. strongly condemned yesterday's savage bombing in Nablus in which eight Palestinians were killed, two of them children. The sending of attack helicopters by the Israeli occupation army to bomb a seven-storey building in the heart of a major Palestinian city is to be considered as an act of state terrorism, Dr. Koechler stated. This attack is the latest and the worst in a series of targeted assassinations of Palestinian activists and officials. The systematic assassination policy carried out at the directives of the leadership of the Israeli occupation authorities makes a mockery of the rule of law and challenges the United Nations Organization with its professed aim to restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

The President of the I.P.O. recalled his appeal of 22 February 2001 made before a special meeting of the UN General Assembly's Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and urged the responsible office holders of the United Nations system not merely to express their "deep dismay" at this assassination policy of Israel, but to undertake all necessary measures so as to dispatch an international protection force to the occupied Palestinian territories. As the case of Hebron has demonstrated, it will not suffice just to send "observers" or "monitors" to protect the local population against the violence of the occupiers. Only protection forces with a clear mandate and authority on the basis of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter will be able to stop the acts of state terrorism by the Israeli occupation army.

The President of the I.P.O. referred to yesterday's statement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Mary Robinson, calling for the establishment of an "international monitoring presence" in the occupied Palestinian territories. Such proposals -- like the one for the deployment of outside observers made by the leaders of the G8 countries (including the United States) at their recent Genova summit -- will only be of help to the Palestinian people living under the yoke of occupation if such forces have a clear mandate on the basis of Chapter VII. If no such action is taken in this situation of emergency, the international community represented by the United Nations Organization will have to be blamed for a policy of double standards victimizing the Arab people of Palestine while granting de facto impunity to the Israeli occupation army.

The Israeli Peace Bloc (Gush Shalom) has characterized yesterday's bombing in Nablus as an act of state terrorism. Gush Shalom stated that the political system and mass media of Israel are "carried along by the demagoguery of the warmongers" and called upon the international community "to intervene before it is too late."

END/Palestine -- Condemnation of Israeli State Terrorism -- Call for United Nations Protection Force/P/RE/17252c-is