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Written Statement by Society for Threatened Peoples - International on the occasion of the Sixth session of the UN Human Rights Council

Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

Bolzano/Bozen, Göttingen, 29. August 2007

As an international human rights organisation Society for Threatened Peoples has been monitoring the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine closely. The plight of both Palestinians and Israelis is worrying. For decades some Palestinians supported by some of the surrounding Arab states spread terror in Israel to reach their aims. An endless chain of bloody suicide attacks and bombings has left many innocent people dead. But the Israeli side is also responsible for severe human rights violations against Palestinians. The surviving victims of the Holocaust have built their state on 78% of the land formerly settled by Palestinians. Forceful expulsions of Palestinian civilians and massive human rights violations against them characterize this period of Israeli-Palestinian history. Endless military confrontations which brought great suffering to both Israeli and Palestinians, civilians and soldiers, followed.

After decades of violence it is evident that neither the Palestinian terror nor the Israeli policies of apartheid and discrimination accompanied by human rights violations like arbitrary attacks against civilians and the erection of a more than 700 km long wall separating Palestinian from occupied and Israeli territory will bring peace to the population and the region as such. In reference to this Society for Threatened Peoples regrets that in the past Israel has turned down so many UN-resolutions and initiatives aiming at an end to human rights violations and the peaceful settlement of the conflict. Israel is furthermore responsible for several breaches of international human rights conventions. Torture and illegal executions are regular parts of Israeli occupation politics. Beduines in the Sinai suffer from the repeated destruction of their villages.

As an organisation that was founded in Germany we consider it as our responsibility however to remind of the Holocaust originating in Germany and, with the dreadful collaboration of other European personalities, militias and even governments, resulting in the genocide of six million European Jews. Israelis continuously fear for their safety and for the existence of their state. The state of Israel is volatile. Israel is surrounded by Arab states which are in most cases heavily armed and do not accept the existence of the State of Israel in the Middle East. These states have tolerated and partly supported the suppression of ethnic and religious minorities in their countries as well as genocides by other Arab states like Sudan against the Southern Sudanese. In the past decades Society for Threatened Peoples has, for instance, worked intensively for equal rights for Kurdish and Christian minorities in Syria, Iran and Iraq. The genocide in South Sudan, where luckily some progress is to be seen, was the focus of our work for a long time. But we miss the Arab world's voice against the continuous genocide in Darfur. This and regular gestures of menace against the State of Israel lead to the requirement of international protection for Israel and the need for the recognition of the State of Israel by the government of Palestine.

After years of violence and suffering the overwhelming majority of Israelis and Palestinians only has one wish: peace. The UN Human Rights Council can do a lot to support those responsible on both sides in finding ways of solving the conflict and bringing about a peaceful solution. Society for Threatened Peoples' demands repeat the suggestions formulated by Jewish intellectuals in Germany.

Society for Threatened Peoples calls on the Human Rights Council to:

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