Friday, July 21, 2006

NGO Declaration

The Euro-Mediterranean Non-Governmental Platform expressed in its meeting in 12 & 13 July, 2006 in Paris, its deepest concern regarding the current situation in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, in particular the Gaza Strip.

Already under siege for several months, the population of Gaza is undergoing perpetrated destruction of civil infrastructure, as well as, growing human losses.

The arbitrary arrest of members of the Palestinian government and parliament, all elected in a democratic process, confirms that the security reasons proposed by the Israeli government are only pretexts.

The destruction of civil targets in Lebanon, and the civil losses which were caused by the military actions carried out in this country comply with the same logic of force.

We believe that all the detainees and captured persons should be liberated, and we condemn and reject all acts of violence against civil populations.

Nothing could justify the collective punishment inflicted to the Palestinian people or the destruction of the Beirut airport’s tracks or bridges.

The Euro-Mediterranean Non-Governmental Platform strongly condemns the Israeli aggressions which are a striking violation of International Law, in particular the Geneva Convention, and can only lead to a humanitarian catastrophe, and most of all, turn any peace perspective out of reach.

The Euro-Mediterranean Non-Governmental Platform, that gathers civil societies’ stakeholders from the North and the South of the Mediterranean, deplores the international community’s silence, in particular that of the European Union and its members.

It is the European Union’s responsibility, on the one hand, to respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people and re-establish its aid, and on the other hand, draw the consequences of the so evident and serious violations of the articles guaranteeing the respect of human rights in the Israeli - EU Association Agreement. It should intervene quickly and firmly in order to stop the Israeli government’s military operations which are threatening the entire region with its dangerous escalation.

We call upon the EU and its member states to put an end to this imbalanced policy that notably supports the denial of existence of which the Palestinian people are victim. The persistence of this European positioning undermines the demands of dialog, justice and peace, laid in the BARCELONA Declaration, and which the peoples of the region need so much.

We call upon the international bodies and all the states of the region to act urgently to put an end to this double aggression.

Paris, 13 July 2006


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