The Guardian March 19, 2003


Israeli suppression of Palestinians under cover of Iraqi war

Under the cover of a war against Iraq the Israeli Government is 
preparing drastic measures against the Palestinian people in an outrageous 
act of suppression which, if they are implemented, could only be compared 
to the measures taken by the Nazis against the people of Czechoslovakia, 
Yugoslavia and other countries during WW 2.

Palestinian NGOs are appealing to the world for their support and 
solidarity.

Appeal to World Public Opinion from Palestinians under siege

World attention is focused on Iraq and the effect of the US-led attack 
on regional stability. Millions of people all over the world demonstrate 
their opposition to the war and attempt to avert it. However, the message 
we, the Palestinian civilian population, are receiving from Israeli 
officials is threatening us with dangerous consequences.

Statements made over the last two months by both Israeli officials and 
media indicate what they are planning and preparing to execute in the 
Palestinian occupied territories in case of war against Iraq.

Such statements could be meant as intimidation, deterrent or real threat. 
In view of our experience, we, the Palestinians, tend to see them as a 
threat endangering our very existence in this land of ours.

The threats published just recently by the Israeli media include, among 
many others:

* Imposing a total curfew on the Palestinian people and land.
* Declaring the Palestinian territories closed military areas, thus 
preventing foreign and local journalists from operating in the territories. 
Such measures are clearly intended to prevent the public exposure of the 
possible Israeli actions against the Palestinians.

* Continuing the Israeli practice of mass detention of Palestinian 
activists without charges, and the destruction of Palestinian homes and 
infrastructure.

* Possible mass transfer of Palestinian civilian population from certain 
locations adjacent to the proposed Israeli security wall. These areas 
belong to the occupied West Bank.

* Possible efforts to transfer Palestinians from the occupied territories 
to neighbouring countries.

* Possible elimination of the elected president of the Palestinian 
Authority, Mr Yasser Arafat, or his deportation to a remote area.

The Palestinian Emergency Committees (PEC) were established in the 
Palestinian territories to organise the community during the possible war 
on Iraq, and to highlight the need for Palestinian readiness for possible 
drastic Israeli measures.

PEC is a coalition of NGOs, national organisations, charitable societies, 
professional unions, political parties, ministries and public figures, 
operating through a co-ordinating office in Ramallah with national outreach 
and representation.

We ask you to form an International Committee for the Protection of the 
Palestinian People, and to take immediate steps to prevent the Israeli 
Government from taking advantage of the situation created by a war on Iraq.

Your support is very much needed and could help to prevent further 
suffering and pain and the death of innocent Palestinians.

* * *
For further information and contact, please email: protectpalestinians@yahoo.comRamallah, Occupied Palestine

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