Press Release 18 May 2004

Scottish Friends of Palestine expresses its deep concern and condemnation over the actions of the Israeli state in Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

To enforce a brutal military occupation over a subjugated people for nearly 4 decades is bad enough. To have them confined within a congested ghetto, surrounded by an electrified fence with all means of survival at the whim of the occupying forces only serves to reinforce the illegitimacy and the futility of the occupation. It can only result in legitimate resistance against the occupation.

The demolition of houses, the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians – men, women and children – by battlefield armour, while confined within their ghetto is barbaric in nature and qualifies, in status, as a war crime.

Scottish Friends of Palestine refutes the Israeli excuse and propaganda that the victims are to blame for their plight. Remove the occupation, give the Palestinian people their freedom and their rights. However, if you create conditions which generates resistance, you will get resistance. Humiliate and brutalise a people, constantly threaten them and terrorise them, drive a people to extremes and you create, by definition, extremists.

This is not the recipe for peace. Only an end to the occupation will bring about the conditions necessary for peace.

Given that successive Israeli governments have prolonged and extended the occupation while, at times, protesting otherwise. Given that they have consistently ignored and boycotted international law with regard to the rights of the Palestinian people, and likewise boycotted the Geneva Conventions with regard to the treatment of occupied persons, then the international community must similarly boycott all aspects of the Israeli state – economic, academic and cultural.

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