Sunday, August 26, 2007

Israeli Apartheid Wall is "the distance from London to Zurich"

Palestine Campaign

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Palestine is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The UN reports that 70% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are now living in acute poverty, a figure comparable to poverty levels in sub-Saharan Africa. Over 50% are now dependent on food aid.

This poverty is a direct result of 40 years of Israeli occupation. According to the UK government's Department for International Development: "Poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is a product of occupation and conflict." Only by ending the occupation can the root causes of poverty be addressed. Israel has confiscated thousands of acres of fertile Palestinian land in order to build its illegal Separation Wall. The UN estimates that 60% of farming families are now cut off from their land due to lack of permits. Palestinian homes, farms and water systems have been purposefully destroyed. The Wall is nearing completion, despite the International Court of Justice’s 2004 ruling that it is in contravention of international law.

When finished, the Wall will be 703km (436 miles) long. That’s the distance from London to Zurich. Human rights are being violated on a daily basis, while restrictions on movement have devastated the Palestinian economy and created a series of impoverished ghettos.

There are currently over 500 checkpoints and physical obstacles restricting Palestinian movement within the West Bank. As former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan confirmed,“The Israeli closure system is a primary cause of poverty and humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian territory." As Israel’s principal trading partner, the European Union has been called on to suspend the trading preferences which Israel enjoys as a result of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.The Agreement is based upon respect for human rights, yet UN representatives have made clear these rights are regularly violated by Israeli forces. Despite its being in breach of the Agreement, the EU continues to reward Israel with trading preferences.

By contrast, the Palestinian people have faced increased poverty as a result of the decision by the UK and other EU member states to suspend direct aid to the Palestinian Authority.This has led to 165,000 government employees going without pay, and dramatic increases in poverty. Palestine is in crisis.We must put pressure on our government to play its part and end the injustice.

Take Urgent Action on Palestine:
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Donate to War on Want:
Your donations could directly fund our campaigns and overseas programmes that support Palestinians living in poverty.
Report from Palestine:
Ruth Tanner reports back on her trip to Palestine with Clare Short MP and Rodney Bickerstaffe. Read her thoughts on the experience, along with photographs and videos. Plus: See what Clare Short had to say on what she saw in Palestine.
Palestine Report LinkDownload reports for free:

» Profiting from the Occupation
» Caterpillar: The Alternative Report
» Towards a Global Movement for Palestine
The Separation Wall:
Find out about the illegal 450-mile separation Wall Israel is constructing.
Background Information:
Look at previous reports, briefings, analysis and the root causes of poverty in Palestine.
Most of the images in this section of the site are credited to Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.

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