Press Release 8 November 2006

Scottish Friends of Palestine condemns the recent act of barbarity where, it would seem, the starving of Palestinians under occupation is not enough. They must now be killed in their beds – whether they be man, women or child.

On Wednesday morning, Israeli occupation forces shelled a civilian area near Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip, killing nineteen people, of whom at least eight were children, and four women. Eleven of the dead were from a single family. Over forty people were wounded. This massacre brings to at least 73 the number of Palestinians killed since November 1 including at least 16 children and six women, and to over 300 the number injured. Two of the dead were Red Crescent medics tending to the injured.

Scottish Friends of Palestine urges the immediate reconvening of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to consider measures to enforce this Convention and end the grave and mounting breaches being perpetrated by Israel, the Occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip.

Since June 26, Israeli occupation forces have killed over 360 Palestinians in Gaza, over half of whom are non-combatant civilians. There is clear and mounting evidence that the Israeli political and military leaders act knowingly, wilfully and indiscriminately when they carry out these killings. Indeed they boast that they make no distinction between civilians and combatants.

According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert told the Israeli parliament on October 30 that in the previous three months, the Israeli military has killed 300 “terrorists” in the Gaza Strip. According to B’Tselem’s investigation, Israeli occupation forces did indeed kill 294 Palestinians in Gaza between June 26 and October 27. However, over half of those killed — 155 people, including 61 children — did not participate in the fighting when they were killed.

It is not enough for Britain’s Foreign Secretary to express “deep concern” over this massacre. Such weak sentiments place Britain alongside the state of Israel, the perpetrator of the massacre.

How many more innocents must die before Britain and the European Union are galvanised into action – starting with an economic boycott of the Israeli state?

Scottish Friends of Palestine is a firm advocate of the total boycott of all Israeli institutions, academic and cultural bodies and Israeli products – until as such times that the Israeli state ceases to boycott the rights of the Palestinian people, and international law as it pertains to the Palestinian people.

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