After 40 years…

December 1st, 2007 § 0 comments

Israeli Soldier
Electronic Intifada:

Over the past 40 years Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip has aggressively targeted both the land and the people of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Not simply haphazard structures of concrete, steel and tarmac, Israel’s settlements and their accompanying maze of bypass roads, hundreds of checkpoints, other movement restrictions and the Annexation Wall, are ever-increasing monuments to the dispossession and subjugation of the Palestinian people, at the expense of their fundamental rights guaranteed under international law. Supporting the physical infrastructure of the occupation is an invisible system of administrative restrictions and military dictates. Military orders serve as the arbitrary basis for land expropriation, property destruction and the exclusion of Palestinians from vast tracts of land, while a permit regime further restricts movement and stifles social, economic and cultural existence. Since the beginning of the occupation, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, thousands more killed in extra-judicial executions, and an estimated 115,000 forcibly displaced internally, while over six million Palestinians remain refugees, unable to return to their homeland. The occupation is not benign. It is aggressive. It is an accumulation of 40 years of violations of international law through which Israel has advanced a policy of control, isolation and annexation of Palestinian land, and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. Ultimately, the occupation eviscerates not only their rights as individuals, but also their most fundamental right as a people — the right to self-determination.

On this, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the international community must not only clearly renounce its tacit acquiescence to Israel’s violations of international law, but also commit to concrete action to end these violations, and in doing so, end the occupation itself.


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