European nationals have delivered appeal to Spanish Consulate, EU
12 April 2002
This afternoon, a delegation of Europeans, who live and work in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, have presented an emergency appeal to the European Union at the Spanish Consulate, in East Jerusalem. In the petition, the Europeans expressed their grave concern over the humanitarian crisis and wide scale human rights violations that are being committed at this moment in the area.
The petition, which has been signed by European nationals, including French, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Austrian, and British citizens, of whom most work at humanitarian and human rights organizations and of whom most live in the occupied Palestinian Territories, suggests concrete proposals, including international protection, an European-wide arms embargo, and the immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, in which the respect for human rights constitutes an essential element.
Earlier this week, separate petitions have been submitted by Dutch and Spanish nationals to their respective embassies in Tel Aviv, requesting the same. Most of the signatories have first-hand experience and knowledge of what is in fact happening on the ground, and who know how severe the situation is.
In the petition, the Europeans expressed their grave concerns about the numerous violations of international humanitarian law, such as the obstruction of medical treatment of wounded Palestinians, attacks on ambulances and arrests of medical personnel, the deliberate denial of access to medicines, the deliberate restrictions on evacuating and burial of killed Palestinians and the deliberate use of Palestinians as human shields. Moreover, they are concerned about the Israeli restrictions on press freedom and the deliberate restrictions placed on local and international journalists, including Dutch correspondents, to perform their jobs.
The Spanish Consul General, Manuel Salazar, received the petition and passed it over to the Spanish Government, holder of the Presidency of the European Union. He shared his grave concern with the petitioners and said that the joint statement made by the EU, the US, Russia and the UN, in which they expressed grave concern about the present situation, including the mounting humanitarian crisis, was a positive step. He also ensured that the petition would be sent to the European Union before Monday's meeting of the European foreign ministers to discuss measures to be taken by the European Union. Earlier this week, the European Parliament already voted in favor of suspension of the Association Agreement and an European-wide armsembargo.