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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
1 July 2004

CIVIL SOCIETY DECLARATION

We delegates of African civil society meeting in Cape Town at the UN Forum of Civil Society in Support of Middle East Peace on the 1 July 2004, having heard first hand accounts of Palestinian life under occupation and having deliberated on how we can play a role in supporting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people make the following declaration.

We call upon the United Nations individually and collectively to take action to ensure that the state of Israel complies with all UN resolutions and requirements of international law and conventions.

We further call on the international community to:

1. End the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
2. Demand the immediate dismantling of the Wall of Occupation also known as the Apartheid Wall.
3. Demand the immediate dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
4. Demand the right of return for all Palestinian refugees as per UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
5. Support the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem.

CPR/CPT/FORUM/2004/12/Rev.1

6. Demand the freeing of all Palestinian political prisoners, including the right of President Arafat to freedom of movement.
7. Demand that Israel allows the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its nuclear sites.

We call on African governments, through the African Union Summit due to take place in Addis Ababa in July 2004, to:

1. Play a facilitating role for a just peace and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state and in support of the other demands made in this statement.
2. Review their economic and military links with Israel and the effects of these links on the Palestinian people.
3. End the presence and the activities of their citizens in the Israeli Defence Force and to take the necessary action against in terms of their laws.

We affirm that the State of Israel does not speak or act on behalf of all Jews. The Conference also rejects the use of the label of anti-Semitism against critics of Israel.

We acknowledge that Palestinian women bear the harshest burden of the occupation. We call on women’s organisations in Africa to express solidarity with Palestinian women.

We pledge ourselves to convene a conference of civil society organisations to build a broad movement of solidarity with the Palestinian people on the African continent. The conference should discuss the isolation of Israel in order to force it to meet its obligations in terms of international law. The specific forms of such isolation could include sanctions, disinvestment, consumer, sports and academic boycotts and the breaking of diplomatic ties.

We support the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation of their land.


Cape Town, 1 July 2004


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