Press Release – Brussels, 14th January 2009
Leave the fields to the farmers; end the violence in Gaza!
We have watched with horror as the aerial attacks on the Gaza strip which began on the 27th of December 2008 have escalated to a full scale ground assault, with a death toll now in excess of 1,000 people. The European Coordination Via Campesina, which incorporates more than 20 farmers and agricultural workers unions in Europe, is both appalled and angered by the indiscriminate massacre of men, women and children in Gaza.
The Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU), which works in the empowerment of local farmers and in the redevelopment of farming in Gaza with a view towards achieving positive social change, has suffered greatly since the start of the invasion. Farmers in Gaza have difficulty accessing land and water resources due to the conflict. The situation in Gaza is worsening daily, as the infrastructure crumbles and more people are killed. The UN distributes food to more than 70% of the population, more than 20,000 people each day. Entire fields have been bombed in the Israeli attacks. The conflict makes it impossible for Gaza to produce its own food. Many citrus and olive groves have also been destroyed.
We call for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli soldiers and a cessation of the aerial attacks which have taken so many human lives.
We see the continued attacks on Palestinian civilians as a crime against humanity and call on the governments of the European Union to denounce the invasion.
We support the civil society groups and social movements throughout Europe and the world who are uniting to call for an end to the violence and to compel the governments of their countries to put more pressure on Israel to end the hostilities.
Marit Jordal: + 4738341080
Josie Riffaud: +33556236509