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Sunday, November 18, 2012
Text: Palestinian NGOs condemn Israeli response to Martian attack

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Reading the statement below one can only conclude
that some mysterious third party - perhaps Martians - is making is appear
that rockets, mortars, etc. are being fired from Gaza at Israeli civilian
targets when in fact they are being fired from spaceships or perhaps - as in
Star Trek - they are being "beamed down" from some far away place.

After all, otherwise these Palestinian Civil Society Organizations would
also be calling on Hamas and other Palestinian forces to stop launching
attacks from civilian areas - thus endangering Palestinian civilians used as
"human shields".

This was not always the case:

Consider the following:
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release

Ref: 54/2008
Date: 15 June 2008
Time: 09:30 GMT
http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4028:stop-this-tragedy-pchr-concerned-over-casualties-caused-by-continuing-internal-explosions-8-palestinians-including-a-child-killed-and-more-than-40-injured-after-explosion-in-beit-lahia-&catid=72:press-releases-security-chaos-&Itemid=213

Stop This Tragedy!
PCHR Concerned Over Casualties Caused by Continuing Internal Explosions: 8
Palestinians, Including a Child, Killed and More than 40 Injured After
Explosion in Beit Lahia

PCHR is deeply concerned about the recurrence of internal explosions as a
result of weapons being manufactured, and stored, in areas populated by
civilians. These actions are threatening the lives and property of
Palestinian civilians. PCHR calls upon Palestinian resistance groups to take
immediate measures to ensure the non-recurrence of such explosions. The most
recent explosion, in Beit Lahia on June 12, killed eight Palestinians,
including an infant, and injured at least forty others.

...PCHR:

1) Warns of the dangers caused by continued manufacturing or storage
of explosive devices by Palestinian resistance groups in civilian-populated
areas, which threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians and violate
international humanitarian law.
2) Calls upon Palestinian resistance groups to take effective steps to
ensure the non-recurrence of such incidents.]

18 November 2012

Palestinian Civil Society Organizations Call on the International Community
to Stop the Offensive on Gaza

Since Wednesday evening, 14 November 2012, Israeli Occupation Forces have
continued their offensive on the Gaza Strip, codenamed "Operation Pillar of
Defence" through aerial, marine and ground bombardment throughout the Gaza
Strip, using missiles and artilleries. This is occurring amidst increasing
Israeli threats to expand the offensive with a ground invasion; large
numbers of Israeli troops have been deployed at the borders of the Gaza
Strip, and it is reported that 75,000 reservists have been called up.

Contrary to claims by the Israeli government that Israeli forces do not
target civilians, the outcome of this offensive so far has indicated that
only civilians pay the price. 27 civilians have been killed, including 10
children and 5 women, and 520 others, including 140 children and 48 women,
have been wounded. Israeli forces have attacked civilian facilities,
including houses, mosques, churches and schools, and governmental buildings
of a completely civil nature, such as the buildings of the Council of
Ministers and the Civil Department of the Ministry of Interior.

Over the past 48 hours, Israeli forces have intensified the bombardments in
a serious escalation, targeting civilian lives and property. This morning,
Israeli forces directly bombarded media offices in Gaza City, seriously
wounding a number of journalists.

There has been no safe place in the Gaza Strip, which essentially does not
have any shelter where civilians can have protection from day and night
bombardments. Approximately 1.7 million people have become under Israeli
forces fire, and their lives are in danger. A number of people have been
killed or wounded while inside their houses, as a result of the bombarding
of residential areas and their vicinities, with bombs weighing up to one ton
dropped by F-16 fighter jets.

During this offensive, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is
dramatically deteriorating, especially with the closure of all border
crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel and the denial of entry of basic
goods and materials into the Gaza Strip, including medical consignments,
food and fuel. This is in violations of the obligations of Israel as an
occupying power under the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of
Civilian Persons in Time of War, which requires Israel to facilitate the
passage of medical and foods consignments to the civilian population in the
occupied territory in all circumstances.

We, Palestinian civil society organizations in the Gaza Strip, condemn the
ongoing offensive by Israeli forces, and warn of further deterioration of
the situation and its catastrophic impact on the lives of Palestinian
civilians. We are concerned that the worst has not yet come, and unless the
international community intervenes to stop this offensive, only Palestinian
civilians will pay the price of this escalation. Even before this offensive,
their suffering that has been constant due to the closure imposed on the
Gaza Strip for more than six years; the recent crimes committed by Israeli
forces will further deepen their suffering.

The role of the international community is not just to condemn international
crimes, but to act to prevent them from being committed. The failure of the
international community to intervene to protect Palestinian civilians serves
to encourage the State of Israel and its occupation forces to commit more
crimes against them. Such crimes will continue as long as accountability is
lacking and impunity for the perpetrators is pervasive. Less than four
years ago, Israeli forces already waged an offensive on the Gaza Strip in
late 2008 ("Operation Cast Lead"). After this offensive, the international
community failed to assume their responsibility to hold the perpetrators of
war crimes accountable.

Therefore:

- We call upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention
Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to fulfill
their obligation to ensure Israeli forcesÂ’ respect for the Convention, and
to stop Israel's systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their
property.

- We call upon the United Nations, represented by the Secretary General, to
immediately act and intervene to protect the international security and
peace in accordance with the UN Charter. We express our deep shock at his
decision to visit Israel and Ramallah on Tuesday, 20 November, without
visiting the Gaza Strip which is currently under attack. This has serious
indications that the Secretary General is following the US position of
supporting Israel, the party which practices occupation and aggression, at
the expense of Palestinian civilians who are the victims of the offensive.

- We call upon the Human Rights Council to hold a special session to address
the situation in the Gaza Strip and take effective steps to stop the
offensive.
We highly appreciate Arab and international official and public visits to
the Gaza Strip in solidarity with its people, especially the visits of the
Egyptian Prime Minister and the Tunisian Foreign Minister, and call for more
solidarity visits in the upcoming days.

- We call upon Arab civil society organizations to organize visits to the
Gaza Strip in solidarity with the Palestinian people and rejection for the
Israel's offensive and crimes, and we highly appreciate the solidarity
activities organized by them and call upon them to continue such important
activities.

- We highly appreciate demonstrations and protests by solidarity movement
with the Palestinian people throughout the world, and express our full
support for their efforts to pressurize their governments to intervene in
order to stop the offensive.

- We call for establishing a safe passage to ensure the entry of medical and
food consignments into the Gaza Strip, which is an obligation of the
occupying power under international humanitarian law.

Signatories:

- Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, representing
130 Palestinian NGOs

- The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

- Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights

- Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights

- El-Wedad Society for Community Rehabilitation

- Gaza Community Mental Health Programme

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