Sent: Monday, March 12, 2001 2:55 PM
Subject: Israli violation of human rights
Canada Palestine Association
Halifax,NS, B3J 2X1
The Hon. Mr. John Manley MP
Minister of foreign affairs
March 12, 2001
Dear Mr. Manley:
There are confirmed reports of Israel sealing off cities in
the West Bank, including Ramallah, Jenin and Jericho, by digging trenches around
these cities and demolishing their access roads and denying hundreds of
thousands of people access to health care and any semblance of human life. This
armed siege is creating concentration camps in
the occupied territories.
As you well know, collective penalties are
prohibited under Article 33 of The Fourth Geneva Convention,
and as you also know Article 1 of the same convention makes it the
responsibility of signatory members to the convention, including Canada, to act
to prevent the violation of the convention.
However, all this goes on and we hear nothing but a deafening
silence from our government. This is contrary to the claims we continue to hear
about our country's committment to human rights, international law and the UN
Charter. This deafening silence contrasts clearly with our stand when other
countries commit violation of human rights. We recall clearly few years ago when
Canada took a leading role in condemning Nigerian violation of human rights and
called for its expulsion from the Commonwealth.
Israel has been in illegal occupation of the West Bank,
including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights, for over 33 years, in
complete defiance of repeated Security Council resolutions and international
law. This illegal occupation has been going on hand in hand with the systematic
practice of violation of human rights and The Fourth Geneva Convention,
as documented by many human rights groups, including the UN
Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and
Israel's B'Tselem human rights group and the Israeli
League for Civil and Human Rights.
Surely it is time for our government to practice what it
preaches and at least make its voice heard. Why must Israel be allowed to remain
above international law?
Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association.