Stop the occupation of Palestine, says NGOs
Press release: On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine; NRC, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and Save the Children come together with a request that the occupation and the illegal blockade of Gaza, is repealed.
In June 1967 Palestine was occupied by Israel. 50 years later, the Palestinians still live under military occupation, despite the world’s condemnation of occupation, the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the treatment of the occupied population.
Israel as occupational power has a responsibility to safeguard and protect the occupied population and ensure access to humanitarian aid.
– As an organization with development – and humanitarian programs in Palestine, we daily see the consequences of the occupation forces not fulfilling their responsibilities. It is very serious that the occupational power places obstacles in the way of humanitarian access, says Anne-Marie Helland, Secretary General of Norwegian Church Aid (Kirkens Nødhjelp)
NRA, NCA, NPA and Save the Children work together with local partners to reduce human suffering in Palestine, and to ensure that both Israelis and Palestinians are guaranteed the right to development, security and self-determination.
Attacks on schools
– Two generations of Palestinians have grown up during occupation and surrounded by barriers. Children in Gaza have experienced three wars in recent years, while children in the West Bank are displaced from their homes. We can not allow this to be allowed to continue. The blockade of Gaza must be lifted and the occupation of Palestine must cease, says Secretary General Jan Egeland in the Refugee Aid (Flykningehjelpen).
In 2016, 63 attacks were reported against schools in Palestine, affecting the schooling of more than 8000 students.
– Palestinian children are hit hard by occupation. An important road to safe schools is that school buildings are not used for military purposes and that all attacks on schools cease, says Tove R. Wang, Secretary General of Redd Barna (Save the Children).
Expanding illegal settlements
Despite clear condemnations from the global community, Israel is still expanding the illegal settlements, and continued annexation of the West Bank is being discussed in the Israeli Parliament.
– The Norwegian Government states that Norway has a duty to counteract activities that support illegal immigrants. It is time for concrete action, says Henriette Westhrin, Secretary General of Norwegian People’s Aid (Norsk Folkehjelp).
Norwegian Refugee Aid, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People’s Aid and Save the children the following challenges to Norwegian authorities:
- • Ensure that Norway distinguishes between Israel and the illegal settlements, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2334.
- Encourage business to ensure that they do not contribute to state- and human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian Territories, in line with the United Nations’ Human Rights and Business Guidelines.
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