58 Norwegian organisations are demanding in an appeal that Norway put pressure on Israel to end the country’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
On Tuesday, representatives of the organisations convened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo to hand over the appeal to Foreign Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide (H).
The initiative comes from the Norwegian People’s Aid, the Trade Union, Defense of International Law and Ships to Gaza Norway, which has been endorsed by among others, by YMCW- YMCM Global, Norwegian PEN, Changemaker, the parties SV and Red Socialists, the Oslo Labour Party and the Center Party Youth division.
The Gaza Strip was occupied by Israel in 1967 and today is home to over 2 million Palestinians. Israel withdrew in 2005, but imposed a severe blockade after Hamas won the elections in the Palestinian territories the following year. Israel has carried out three major military offensives and responses against the area since.
The UN has long demanded that Israel abolish the blockade of the Gaza Strip, but has not put power behind this demand.
UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, recently urged the world community to take countermeasures against Israel as a result of the country’s serious and persistent violation of international law.
The Gaza Strip health care system is suffering from an acute shortage of medicines, equipment and doctors, and education and was breaking down even before the Corona pandemic hit.
“The Palestinians, a population under occupation and blockade, are a high-risk group for both infection and disproportionate control measures from the ‘occupying power’ ,” says Norwegian People’s Aid Director of Development and Humanitarian Cooperation, Gry Ballestad.
– We urge the Foreign Minister to take immediate action against the UN and other international bodies in order to put an end to Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinians, an act which according to the 1949 Geneva Conventions is regarded as a war crime, it states further.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today