EU: STOP GAZA'S ISOLATION!
EU: STOP GAZA'S ISOLATION!
We, European citizens, believing that respect for human rights and international law are the cornerstones of a peaceful life for any human community, cannot watch silently the human catastrophe in the Gaza Strip: it is the result of human decisions.
After 10 years of blockade by the state of Israel (supported by Egypt) and three severe military attacks, conditions for two million Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip are by all accounts worse than ever. According to the World Bank reports 2016, Gaza GDP has been halved by the blockade, 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, and 80% is dependent on food aid.
Before ten years, more than 80% of Gaza's exports were directed to the West Bank, now only 2% are allowed to leave. Gaza has the highest unemployment rate in the world (43%), which reaches 60% among young people. The extreme human and economic costs of the crisis that people of Gaza are facing today can no longer be accepted.
Therefore we, European citizens, urge the European Institutions to act. The political crisis, due to internal Palestinian conflict cannot be used as an alibi not to intervene to stop the Gaza's isolation and the destruction of its population.
Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has the primary responsibility and the obligation to ensure the security and well-being of the civilian population in areas it controls.
Despite of that, Israel’s continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip, constitutes a form of collective punishment in violation of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
We, European citizens, urge the European Institutions to act and raise clear demands to the Israeli government related to their legal obligations. If not fulfilled by Israel, sanctions must be envisaged including the suspension of the Association Agreement between EU and Israel, on the basis of Article 2 of the Agreement, as it has been the case towards numerous other States in less acute cases.
European Union cannot continue the double standard policy followed since decades under fallacious reasons.
Therefore, we call upon the European Authorities to:
- ensure the reconstruction and reactivation of the waste water treatment plant,
- ensure the freedom of movement for the Palestinians to and from Gaza, with the external world and with the opening of a direct link between Gaza and the West Bank,
- ensure freedom of movement for the products to and from Gaza, ensuring delivery of all necessary construction materials and medicine,
- restore operatively the already approved project to fund and build a port in Gaza,
- immediately undertake a mission at highest political/diplomatic level and technical level to enact these commitments.
In addition we call upon the EU to:
- put pressure on the Israeli government to provide full electricity to the area;
- put pressure on Israeli and Egyptian governments to end the illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip;
- put pressure on the Israeli government to end the illegally prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territory as a whole;
Slow destruction being imposed on the people of Gaza, whose majority is young people, creates a situation of extreme suffering, anger and resentment that risk to increase political crisis and new disasters.
EU urgent action is needed to avoid stronger distress and to allow the Gaza's population to exercise their right to live, and support the democratic process: two main conditions for peace.