Israel Palästina Nahost Konflikt Infos
Vice President of the European Parliament
THE ISRAELI SIEGE ON GAZA KILLS PALESTINIAN PRESENT AND FUTURE
NO MORE SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDENTS IN GAZA
Rome, 30th May 2008
"The Israeli siege on Gaza continue to punish collectively and illegally civil population, killing them together with their hopes of a dignified life and of a better future: of course rocket launched from Gaza to Sderot are illegal and criminal and must be immediately stopped because they hit Israeli civilians, but the fault of some Palestinian extremists groups cannot be paid as reprisal by one million and a half of non-culpable people.
Today, more examples of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians took place.
Special Israeli Forces raided Khaza'a area, east of Khan Younis, and killed Yosra Qzeih Abu Roq, a 70 years-old woman. Amnesty International in its latest report announced that since the beginning of 2008, "frequent air strikes and other attacks by Israeli forces killed more than 370 Palestinians, including some 50 children, and injured thousands more."
Also today, the U.S. Department of State withdrew all Fulbright grants from Palestinian students in Gaza, as Israel refused to grant them permission to leave the Gaza Strip. Seven Palestinian students were added to the long list of victims of the illegal, brutal, and incomprehensible siege. The students were deprived from a chance to better contribute to Palestinian society. As The New York Times reported today, even some Israeli lawmakers expressed their anger of the decision.
"This could be interpreted as collective punishment," Rabbi Michael Melchior, chairman of the Knesset's education committee, stated in a committee hearing. He also expressed his concern that "this policy is not in keeping with international standards or with the moral standards of Jews, who have been subjected to the deprivation of higher education in the past. Even in war, there are rules".
This is the meaning of a widespread and contradictory unbalanced policy carried out by the United States that, instead of asking to Israel to open the border crossings to people, women, men, ill persons and goods, it reinforces the brutality of the closure withdrawing scholarships for students.
Unfortunately this unbalanced and hypocritical policy is also followed by ‘a supine Europe’, as recently defined Peace Nobel Prize and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter who, together with another Peace Nobel Prize, Archbishop Desmond Tutu -in these last days visiting the Strip and shocked for the deteriorated situation in Gaza- urge both that Gaza siege must end.
Amnesty International also announced that "some 40 Palestinians died after being refused passage out of Gaza for urgent medical treatment not available in local hospitals," which totals143 Palestinian patients. Amnesty International also expressed concern over the situation of the thousands of those seriously ill and are denied permission to leave the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) denounced the increasing number of checkpoints and other physical limitations on movement. According to OCHA there are 607 new checkpoints and physical limitations added since September 2007. In its report, OCHA also expressed its concern regarding the 3,000 Palestinian homes scheduled for demolition by the Israeli Army, and the confiscation of Palestinian fertile land due to the illegal Wall.
Many UN Agencies, International, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, are constantly denouncing this evidence, but once again in vain. There are also two resolutions by the European Parliament calling on Israel to end the Gaza siege. Nevertheless people in Gaza continue to dye, justice and rights for Palestinians are always more and more remote after 40 years of Occupation and 60 years of Nakba carried out by Israeli Governments and tolerated by the International Community.
Further information Luisa Morgantini + 39 348 39 21 465 or + 972 54 72 71 742 or Office +39 06 69 95 02 17/ +32 22 84 51 51