Press Release 27 December 2008
“The bombs began to fall just as the children were on the streets walking back from school. I went out onto the stairs and a terrified 5 year old girl ran sobbing into my arms.”
Sharon Lock (Australian) International Solidarity Movement
Scottish Friends of Palestine utterly condemns the slaughter now taking place in the Gaza Strip.
For nearly one year the people of Gaza have suffered collective punishment at the hands of Israel. They have suffered starvation, denial of basic services including medical services. And yet the appetite of the state of Israel for the blood of the innocent has, it would seem, yet to be assuaged.
Scottish Friends of Palestine has to ask “Will the people of Israel rest easier in their beds as a result of this slaughter? Will this electioneering strategy on behalf of an outgoing government, desperate for re-election, make for a safer and more secure Israel? A safer and more secure Middle East?” Will more than 200 dead and countless hundreds injured destroy the yearning and struggle by the Palestinian people for their freedom and their rights? Just how many deaths of a purposely impoverished Gaza population will it take for the state of Israel, and the world community at large, to realise that the rights of a people cannot be bombed and blasted out of existence?
The facts are as outlined in the following statement from the Israeli based Gush Shalom:
-It is Israel which broke the truce – already a month and a half ago, in early November, the State of Israel broke the truce in a series of military attacks on Gaza, which caused the death of six Palestinians. In this way, the government of Israel, with its own hands, brought a rain of Qassam missiles upon the heads of the inhabitants of Sderot and the other Gaza Border communities. Afterwards, every time that the situation started calming down, more Palestinians were killed by the army, their killing provoking new salvos of missiles. Now, the government is using the breaking of the truce as the pretext to launch a new military offensive. An offensive which would cost the lives of civilians, and would not achieve any of its declared aims – certainly not the aim of bringing calm to the inhabitants of the border area.
-It is Israel which is responsible for the poverty and despair, entailed by the siege on Gaza – already for months the million and half inhabitants of Gaza live under an Israeli siege, with stoppages of water and electricity and a severe lack of vital goods. The Hamas government is already for weeks stating that it would be possible to restore the truce, should Israel agree to open the passages and allow the entry of goods, products, gasoline and people into the Strip. The government chooses consciously to ignore the Hamas declarations and cynically chooses, for electoral purposes, the path of war.
Scottish Friends of Palestine, yet again, questions the actions of the constituent states of the European Union in this matter. While the MEPs take heed of the concerns of the voters and postpone, as they did recently, any decision on upgrading relationships with the Israeli state, the foreign ministers seek to undermine the democratic process by cementing deals with the state of Israel which can only encourage the present and further genocidal actions by Israel. Increasingly civic society must take the lead in showing governments the way forward – with boycott, sanctions and divestment the only option.
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.
Visit www.easi-piesi.org to find out what you can do.
Scottish Friends of Palestine
Scottish Friends of Palestine was formed in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent attacks on the Palestinian refugee communities. It is an independent organisation with no political or religious affiliations. SFoP supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. These rights have all been acknowledged by the United Nations.
SFoP campaigns for immediate and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from all territories illegally occupied, including East Jerusalem. We work for educational, social and cultural links between the Scottish and Palestinian peoples.
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