Statement by the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations’ Network

Wednesday 10 August 2005, by Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations’ Network (PNGO)

This summer, the Israeli government intends to redeploy the Israeli occupation forces based in the Gaza Strip as well as to evacuate the 8,500 Israeli settlers who live in 23 illegal colonies which, along with settler-only roads and military installations, take up an estimated 30% of the Gaza Strip’s territory to the detriment of the 1.4 million Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza.

Thursday 23rd June 2005.

PNGO views the disengagement plan as a trade-off meant to legitimize the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including in and around Jerusalem, which are currently under expansion, as well as the Separation and Annexation Wall, which is being erected in violation of international law (see ICJ Advisory Opinion of 9th July 2004). As a combined result of continued settlement expansion and the construction of the Separation and Annexation Wall in the West Bank, including in and around Jerusalem, there will be no contiguity between Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem rendering the creation of a viable independent Palestinian state impossible. After implementation of the disengagement plan, the Israeli army will remain in control of all border crossings and Palestinians will have no control over airports, seaports or natural resources, such as water or gas. Palestinian society will be split into separate political, social and economic entities and Jerusalem will be turned into an isolated island. The Gaza Strip will continue to be one big prison and, along with the West Bank and Jerusalem, it will remain occupied territory under international law.

PNGO strongly believes that the Israeli government’s disengagement plan constitutes an impediment to peace and an exit strategy from the Road Map, which has been completely pushed to the sidelines. PNGO would like to stress the fact that the planned Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip constitutes a unilateral measure taken by the government of Israel as if it was an internal Israeli affair.

PNGO would like to emphasize the fact that, after disengagement is completed, Israel will remain in effective control of the Gaza Strip and will therefore still be an occupying power under international law.

PNGO urges the international community to insist that Israeli disengagement from Gaza does not negate the need for an overall peace process.

PNGO calls upon the international community to exert pressure on the government of Israel to live up to its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law before, during and after its disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian NGO Network

PNG

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