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International Civil Society Call for Action

Bruxells, August 2007

Tuesday 18 September 2007

We in civil society meet at a moment of acute and rising crisis in the Middle East, with grave humanitarian, political, economic and social consequences. In response, we make the following commitments:

1. We demand an immediate end to the isolation of Gaza.

2. We call for the immediate release of Palestinian parliamentarians and Cabinet ministers illegally kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces.

3. We call on Palestinians to renew their political unity within the Occupied Palestinian Territory and for immediate international recognition of such a reunified Palestinian polity.

4. We support our Palestinian civil society counterparts, and we remain very concerned about the threat to democracy posed by the recent banning of 103 NGOs.

5. We are strengthening our global campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a non-violent effort against Israeli occupation and oppression. We especially call for an end to arms trade with Israel.

6. We demand that governments meet their obligations under the 4th Geneva Convention and under other relevant aspects of international law regarding Israeli policies. All signatories to the 4th Geneva Convention have special obligations to implement the ICJ Advisory Opinion. We call on the European Union to organize a fact-finding mission to investigate Israeli violations of international law and conventions, both inside Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

7. We mark 2008 as a year to commemorate Palestinian dispossession and expulsion, and a year committed to reversing those 60-year-old losses, with particular attention to the unrealized rights of Palestinian refugees. We call on the United Nations, the European Union and the Non-Aligned Movement to mark November 29, 2007 as an international day to commemorate the 1947 Partition Resolution and its consequences.

8. Finally, we call on global civil society, to join us with Palestinian communities in exile, inside Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in mobilizing for a year of education and campaigning beginning on November 29, 2007. That year will include May 15, 2008, as a day of global mobilization to commemorate the Nakba, and the continuing dispossession and denial of Palestinian rights.