Press Release 22 March 2004

Scottish Friends of Palestine condemns the assassination of the Palestinian cleric and spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. That the Israeli political and military establishment should stoop to such an act of cowardice against an ageing, quadriplegic, wheelchair bound cleric, leaving a place of worship, is simply a measure of the brutality, the moral and political bankruptcy, if not corruption, of the establishment.

And, of course, it will not contribute one iota to peace and security in Israel/Palestine and the surrounding area.

SFoP has always called for the application of international law in Israel/Palestine. If there is any evidence against any individual, they should be brought to trial in open court, not murdered.

Cowardice, however, is not the preserve of the current Israeli establishment. The world at large has long known of Ariel Sharon’s penchant for attacking and killing the Palestinian people. Not only has Sharon and his actions been ignored by members of the international community, he has been indulged by them. Violence and death has long accompanied the achievements of Zionism in Palestine with, as now, the blame being apportioned to the victims – with the world looking on passively.

If the state of Israel fears the influence of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, then it only has itself to blame. Just as its grand design of 3 decades ago, to support the Islamic movement as a counter to Palestinian nationalism, ultimately failed, its current actions to liquidate the movement’s successor in the 21st century will also fail.

SFoP calls for international intervention in a situation where, ultimately, the ending of the world’s longest lasting military occupation, the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, is the only way to guarantee peace and security. A first step is for the high contracting parties to the Geneva Conventions to meet in order to ensure that ,as a military occupier, the Israeli state abides by the Conventions.

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