From: The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza
An official meeting held at the European Parliament attended by a number of MEPs and various civic organisations across Europe. The meeting discussed the legal case launched by Claire Short and the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza against the European Union.
The legal case, launched on the first of September 2009, leveled charges against the EU, which was presented to the President who was given 28 days to reply. In it was stated that under the EU- Israel Association Agreement, the EU, in light of Israel’s violation of International Human rights Law and Humanitarian Law in the occupied Palestinian Territory, has failed in its duty to take effective action against intransgressible principals in international law. (Click on pictures to make them bigger)
The legal document also cited a raft of reports compiled by international authorities including the UN was cited as documentary evidence of clear violations of international law by Israel. In light of the mounting evidence the European Community has clear obligations under the Association Agreement to take punitive steps against Israel.
Claims of violations by Israel are now also further supported by the conclusions of another investigation headed by the respected international judge Richard Goldstone.
The combined reports found several violations of international law in operation cast lead. Richard Falk, the special Rapporteur for the UN reported that during the military intervention Israel deliberately obstructed the work of humanitarian personnel leaving the poor without basic medical, food and other services in violation of both international humanitarian law and human rights law’.
Richard Goldstone in his 575-page report, released on September 15, 2009, documented serious violations of international humanitarian law by Israel, with some incidents amounting to war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, including wilful killings, deliberate attacks on civilian objects, wanton destruction of civilian property,
indiscriminate attacks, the use of human shields, and collective punishment against Gaza’s civilian population in the form of a continuing blockade.
‘Given the overwhelming evidence the Secretary General, Javier Solano made an unconvincing defense’ said Claire Short a British MP. She further went on to say ‘In his response, Javier Solano, the Secretary General, pointed to a series of initiatives taken by EU with the view to achieving an immediate and permanent ceasefire.
The EU, he said, issued a statement emphasizing that it was conscious of the suffering and anguish of the civilian population and calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Added to his list included its participation in a summit in Egypt, support for the Egypt initiative, further pronouncements of its concerns and calls to respect international law. Needless to say these measures were ineffective’.
While still waiting for a response from the President of the European Commission, further strategies in seeking legal action was discussed. It was unanimously agreed that further pressure needs to be applied to governments in member states through petitions which included names of politicians and members of civic organizations.