Immediate action required: Towards an “International Conference of Governments for the Protection of the Palestinian People and Support for Their Self-Determination.”
Bagnolet, November 15, 2023
Israel is waging a genocidal war on Palestinians. In addition to its incessant bombings – targeting civilians, residential buildings, hospitals, schools, places of worship, and all basic infrastructure – Israel has imposed a complete blockade on Gaza, preventing the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza from accessing food, water, electricity, and fuel. The farmers have no access to their farmland, much of which has been bombed. The fisher folk too have no access to the sea. Israel’s ongoing brutal assault has created a human catastrophe of unimaginable scale. La Via Campesina’s member organization in Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Workers Committee (UAWC), warns that “Those who survive the bombings will die of starvation or thirst”.
It is urgent that third states take immediate action against this crime against humanity. The global mass mobilization of the past month has shown that the majority of the world stands with justice, and the majority of countries are deeply shocked by Israel’s blatant genocidal warfare imposed on the Palestinian people.
We call upon the governments who supported the United Nations General Assembly resolution for a humanitarian truce on the 26th of October to take immediate action to uphold their legal and humanitarian obligations and protect civilians. We urge these third states to organize an International Conference of Governments as soon as possible in order to stop this genocidal war and bring immediate relief to Palestinian people, in particular those in Gaza. This conference is a critical step towards the end of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The following key actions are necessary to address the crisis effectively, bring immediate relief to the Palestinian people, and put an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine:
- Immediate Ceasefire: The most urgent and immediate demand is a ceasefire in Gaza. Governments must pressure the Israeli state to stop the bombardment and violence against Palestinian civilians. This is a top priority to save lives and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.
- Humanitarian Aid: Governments must prioritize immediate and unconditional humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank. This aid must be in sufficient quantity and distributed equitably across all regions of Gaza and the West Bank. This aid should include food, clean water, medical supplies, and essential resources to address the critical humanitarian crisis in the region.
- End the Blockade on Gaza: The complete blockade on food, water, electricity, and fuel must be lifted. Israel must not have the power to cut off an entire population from basic needs. This move is vital to address the immediate needs of the population, prevent further starvation, and improve living conditions.
- Multinational Support: Collaboration among countries is crucial to build a united front for peace and humanitarian assistance. This multinational approach will strengthen the impact of the collective efforts.
- Accountability: Governments must advocate for accountability and justice for crimes against humanity committed in general and especially during this genocidal war on Gaza, including through international investigations and legal actions.
- Protection of Civilians: Countries must uphold their legal and humanitarian obligations to protect Palestinian civilians, ensuring their safety and security.
- Imposing Sanctions on Israel: It is crucial to highlight the effectiveness of imposing sanctions on the Israeli occupation as the primary means to halt the ongoing crimes, hold them accountable, and ensure compliance with international law. This includes sanctions on the Israeli economy, the Israeli government and its leadership.
- Combating Ethnic Cleansing: International actors must combat ethnic cleansing operations not only against Gaza but also against peasants in Area “C” of the West Bank , and must protect their livelihoods and rights.
- Demanding the robust implementation of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions regarding Palestine.
- Ending the Illegal Occupation: Governments must take a strong stance against the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and work towards a sustainable solution to end it. This is essential for long-term stability and peace in the region.
We call upon governments from the Global South to convene as soon as possible an “International Conference of Governments for the Protection of the Palestinian People and Support for Their Self-Determination”. This initiative should include a wide range of countries that align with the importance of upholding international law, advocating for a ceasefire, and putting an end to the ongoing genocidal warfare against the Palestinians in Gaza. Furthermore, we foresee that this conference will serve as a cornerstone for building an international coalition aimed at countering the hegemonic policies and the prevailing culture of impunity associated with the occupying state.
We call upon other social movements and civil society around the world to support these efforts and take action by pressuring their governments to participate in this initiative for the future of Palestine.