Stop Bombing Gaza, Respect Humanitarian Laws and Human Rights of Palestinians
Indian Government cannot side with Israel’s Apartheid, must Intervene to Save Innocent Lives
New Delhi, July 16: Mohammad Suliman, a student based in Palestine, has been tweeting the harrowing experience of living in the Gaza. Yesterday evening, he tweeted, “A group of young people sit outside their house, chatting. Three missiles hit and instantly kill five. Two follow. Everyone is a target.”
In the on-going human catastrophe in Gaza, more than 130 civilians, including children and women, are reported to have been killed and thousands injured. The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Human Affairs (OCHA) has also confirmed that 80 %, i.e. four out of every five, of those killed in Gaza are civilians. Amidst the brutal attacks, thousands of Palestinians are forced to flee from their homes but have nowhere to go. In complete violation of international humanitarian law, Israel in its present operation “Protective Edge”, is brazenly targeting civilian homes, hospitals, roads and ignoring all the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions which must be followed in any such offensive, leading to the unjustifiable genocide in Gaza.
Moreover, yesterday’s misleading act by Israel of approving the “truce” brokered by Egypt was nothing but a tactic to strengthen its position internationally and its stranglehold on Gaza. The conditions of the supposed “truce” offered nothing for Palestinians and, therefore, was just another sophisticated act of legitimizing mass killings. When there is war, Palestinians die quickly. At other times, death comes slightly slowly, and is more humiliating, thanks to Israel’s apartheid regime. In any case, the short-lived “truce” is now over, and attacks have resumed.
It is universally known that there has been a history of brutality and killings, forced occupation and blockade of amenities to the people by Israel. One cannot forget the 2012 attacks in which more than 110 people were killed and that of 2008, where 1400 Palestinians died including 300 children. Although the assault on Gaza has been continuing for long now, there is a more immediate background to this recent offensive- the growing international support for Palestine’s appeal to stop Israeli occupation and the attempt to hinder the Palestine’s decision to form the unity government.
Noticeably, India’s silence on Israel’s brutality and apparent act of ‘balancing’ the issue is not just telling, but extremely discomforting. Israel is not only India’s second largest ‘supplier’ of arms; it is also a heavy investor in areas of national interest such as security, energy, aeronautics and agri-business. It is but obvious that India has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the atrocious violations of law and basic human rights standards by this ‘important’ ally. Furthermore, toeing the line of Israel, the Indian administration and the police detained and arrested protestors and mishandled women activists on 14th July in Delhi and Mumbai, thereby openly denying people the democratic right to protest and assembly.
National Alliance of People’s Movements stands in full solidarity with the people of Palestine and strongly condemns Israel’s aggression on Gaza. We have, over the years, seen many constituent movements within India in a similar position as Palestinians today – people’s rights are denied with impunity, and the odds against them are so huge that they have to curtain even basic demands, “negotiating” with oppressors for mere survival while brutalities and denial of rights continue.
We demand an immediate end to the bombings in Gaza and complete restoration of peace and respect of human rights of the people of Gaza. Immediate help in the form of medical aid should reach the people. The international community cannot remain silent and international organisations working for peace and human rights must intervene at once. We call upon the Government of India to break its silence on the issue and take a proactive, pro-people stand, reaching out to Palestine and insisting that Israel must withdraw from its repressive approach. Law and Justice must prevail over business and diplomacy!
Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan – NAPM; Prafulla Samantara, Lingraj Azad – Lok Shakti Abhiyan, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM, MP; Gautam Bandopadhyay – Nadi Ghati Morcha, NAPM, Chhattisgarh; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelakandan – NAPM Kerala; Saraswati Kavula, P Chennaiah – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Bhupender Singh Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini, Rajendra Ravi, Sunita Rani, Seela M, Madhuresh Kumar, Kanika Sharma – NAPM, Delhi; Arundhati Dhuru, Richa Singh – NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Sumit Wanjale – Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan, NAPM, Mumbai; Manish Gupta – Jan Kalyan Upbhokta Samiti, NAPM, UP; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Vilas Bhongade – Gosikhurd Prakalpgrast Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM, Maharashtra; Ramashray Singh – Ghatwar Adivasi Mahasabha, Jharkhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant – Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan, NAPM Bihar; Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar