Palestine: IWC Call to lift the siege on Gaza

IWC via WiB
A call to lift the siege on Gaza and end the occupation, from the International Women's Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace (IWC).
"We, Israeli, Palestinian and international members of the International Women's Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace (IWC), are outraged by the Israeli blockade of the entire population of Gaza. The decision to cut off life-sustaining food, fuel, electricity, and medical supplies, and terrorizing civilians to advance political goals is totally reprehensible. Such acts clearly constitute collective punishment, which is a gross violation of international humanitarian law and are considered war crimes.
The IWC notes with deep concern that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now being conducted entirely on the backs of civilians, who have become the prime targets of the ongoing escalation. The Gaza siege, in addition to the systematic military actions and targeted killings that led to great loss in innocent lives, has made conditions in Gaza inhuman and intolerable. We deplore the rocket attacks on the residents of Sderot and its surroundings. This, however cannot justify the condemnable Israeli policy, which makes the 1.5 million defenseless inhabitants of Gaza prisoners in sub-human conditions, vulnerable to highly sophisticated military attacks. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel as an occupying power still bears full responsibility for the well being and human security of the population of Gaza, and stands accountable to the international community.

We also observe with dismay the repetition of the familiar pattern of a growing gap between the promise of stepped-up negotiations on all outstanding permanent status issues, which would lead to the end of occupation and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel on the 4th of June 1967 borders, and the constantly deteriorating situation on the ground which undermines the attainment of this goal. The cynical and patriarchal resort to military force fortifies extremism and creates a dynamic of revenge, which compromises our future.

As women, we are convinced that there is only a political solution to our conflict. We therefore totally reject the chauvinist thinking that seeks to attack and manipulate civilians in order to effect change.

The IWC demands that Israel opens the borders to Gaza, ensures the mobility of peoples and goods, and cease all military actions against the population to allow a better environment for comprehensive peace negotiations.

The IWC appeals to the international community, and especially to the United Nations, to exercise its responsibility to safeguard human rights and human dignity and to do everything within its power to ensure the absolute termination of all attacks against civilians. We also demand that the international community intervene immediately to ensure the total compliance of Israel with all UN resolutions related to the conflict.

The IWC reiterates its conviction that only comprehensive and meaningful negotiations between Israel and the PLO, which will end the occupation and maintain the integrity of the Palestinian Territory, can stop this insanity and ensure the future of our peoples."

The International Women's Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace (IWC) is a body of Palestinian, Israeli, and international women established in 2005 under the auspices of UNIFEM in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.