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CESR Appeal for Israeli Withdrawl

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A message from CESR. Click on read more” at the end of this post to see the full letter.

Dear friends,

Despite international calls for a withdrawal, including a mildly worded PReffort by President Bush, the vicious Israeli assault against Palestinian civilians continues. Below is a CESR statement on the crisis. Versions have been sent to US, UN and European leaders. In these dark times, it is important to take any action, however small, to demonstrate solidarity with those resisting the Israeli military campaign. Please feel free to use any portion of this statement in your own education and advocacy efforts. Contact information for several key policy-makers is below.

April 7, 2002

Kofi Annan

Secretary General

United Nations

Dear Secretary General,

Israeli military forces are, right now, committing a massacre of civilians in Jenin refugee camp and other areas of the occupied Palestinian territories, for the entire world to see. Eyewitness accounts testify to an unprecedented level of brutality marked by systematic violations of the most fundamental principles of human rights and humanitarian law.

Israeli fighter jets and helicopters are firing missiles into densely populated areas. Tanks and troops encircle these areas, preventing all entry and exit. Civilians are trapped in their homes under 24-hour curfew and under threat of Israeli snipers who shoot on sight. Bulldozers are demolishing rows of houses with no advance warning to their occupants. Thousands of Israeli soldiers are rampaging through people‚s homes, committing extrajudicial executions, and conducting mass arrests. Water and electricity has been cut off, even to hospitals. Well-marked ambulances are being fired upon and prevented from treating the wounded and dying. Bodies are decomposing in people‚s homes and on the streets.

Up to 100 Palestinians may have been killed in Jenin alone. An accurate accounting is not yet possible because Israeli forces are expelling non-Palestinians from the scene, including members of the media and humanitarian and medical agencies, as well as peace activists who have traveled to the occupied territories seeking through their presence to deter further abuses.

Concerned citizens the world over are asking the same question: where is the international community?

Israel justifies its actions as a legitimate response to Palestinian terrorism.

But all attacks against civilians are illegal and deplorable, including Israel’s

current military assault in furtherance of an occupation that for 35 years has

denied Palestinians their most fundamental human right, that of self- determination.

The Center for Economic and Social Rights urges you, as head of the only institution representing all the world‚s peoples, to condemn, forcefully and unequivocally, Israeli war crimes, and call for immediate Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories as legally mandated by numerous UN resolutions.

We understand that such a public declaration cannot bring about an end to this conflict ˆ only an end to the occupation, followed by a comprehensive peace treaty based on universal principles of international justice, can accomplish that. But your words can help restore the credibility of the United

Nations at a time when the organization‚s very legitimacy is being eroded through

failure to defend its own founding principles of law and morality.

Roger Normand

Executive Director

Center for Economic and Social Rights

Brooklyn, New York USA

Contact information:

Kofi Annan

Secretary General

United Nations

Fax: 212-963-2155

Email: [email protected]

Terje Rod Larsen

Personal Representative of the Secretary General to the UN in Palestine Tel: 282-2914

Fax: 282-0966

Email: [email protected]

Romano Prodi

President

European Commission

Email: [email protected]

President George W. Bush

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500 USA

Tel: +1-202-456-2580

Email: [email protected]

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell

U.S. State Department

2202 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520 USA

Tel: +1-202-647-5291

Fax: +1-202-267-6434

Email: [email protected]

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