Date: 11 November 2006
Members of the International Women’s Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace (IWC) have issued the following appeal in response to the recent bombardment of houses in the Gaza Strip.
IWC IMMEDIATE CALL FOR ACTION IN GAZA
As Israeli, Palestinian and international women leaders and activists, members of the International Women's Commission dedicated to the goal of ending the occupation and achieving a just and sustainable Palestinian-Israeli peace based on a two-state solution, committed to the respect of international law, including relevant UN resolutions, human rights, and equality, we are outraged at the horrifying Israeli carnage against the Beit Hanoun civilians in Gaza Strip. The dawn bombardment of houses on November 8 in Beit Hanoun cost the lives of 19 civilians, among them 7 children and 6 women, and left dozens of innocents injured. Since the end of June, Israeli military assaults on civilians in Gaza have resulted in the killing of 383 Palestinians, including 68 children and 14 women.
As women we refuse to remain silent. As women we have an obligation to do everything possible to bring an end to the senseless use of force which threatens to destroy all options for creating a humane future for ourselves and our children.
WE CALL on the government of Israel to immediately cease its war on the civilian population of Gaza Strip, withdraw its armed forces, and end the siege. Attacks against civilians and collective punishment cannot under any circumstances be justified.
WE DEMAND that the international community, especially the UN Security Council, exercise its responsibility for the protection of human security, human rights, and human dignity according to international law, and intervene immediately to ensure the total withdrawal of Israeli forces and the complete cessation of all attacks.
WE ASK that an international verification force be dispatched to assure implementation of these decisions.
WE CALL on the Human Rights Council to dispatch a team to investigate the Beit Hanoun killings.
WE REAFFIRM our belief in the fundamental rights of all to live in an environment of peace and security, free from occupation, oppression, and the use of force as stipulated in international law and human rights conventions.
History has proven that sustained conflicts have no military solution.
WE APPEAL to the quartet to convene an international conference forthwith in order to return to the path of negotiations, and we ask all responsible parties to do everything in their power to begin this vital process.
Time is of the essence: our future, and that of our children, is in grave danger.
Ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the foremost challenge and obligation of the international community today.
The International Women’s Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace (IWC) is an international body of Palestinian, Israeli, and international women established in 2005 under the auspices of UNIFEM in the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325.