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Military escalation against Gaza and Israeli threats of ’holocaust’

Declaration by Mustafa Barghouthi

Dimanche 2 mars 2008

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative declared today that "Israel is killing babies, children and entire families while the world remains silent. This very silence is enabling the Israeli crimes. It must stop."

Dr. Barghouthi stated that the Israeli military has killed 104 Palestinians in Gaza since Wednesday 27 February and injured more than 300. Saturday alone, 66 Palestinians were killed and more than 180 injured in Israeli military attacks.

Dr. Barghouthi insisted on the plight of Gaza’s children who are targeted without any restraint by Israel. 19 children have been killed and more than 25 injured since Wednesday. This death toll includes a 2-day-old baby, a 5-month-old baby, and many children younger than 12. Civilians have been killed in their homes, bombed by the Israeli military.

This blatant disregard for civilian life is a clear breach of the Geneva Conventions, and Israel is committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Dr. Barghouthi expressed his disgust at the comments by Matan Vilnaï, deputy of minister Ehud Barak, who threatened Friday an ’holocaust’ against Gaza.

Dr. Barghouthi commented "this reveals the moral bankruptcy of the Israeli leadership. They feel vindicated in their criminal policies by the silence of the international community. They do not want to negotiate anything and only use military force and extreme threats".

Dr. Barghouthi detailed how since Annapolis Israeli military attacks have increased by 300%, settlements have grown, checkpoints have increased from 521 to 562 and no real negotiations have taken place. He concluded : "Israel is using Annapolis as a cover for its criminal attacks against the Palestinians. There is no Israeli partner for peace, only the continuation of a policy of Apartheid against Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank."