Conosciuto come il sindaco antimafia di Gela, ora eurodeputato nelle liste del PD, Rosario Crocetta si è visto negare l’ingresso nella Striscia di Gaza da parte delle autorità israeliane, assieme a una delegazione del Parlamento Europeo.
Ecco il comunicato dell’ufficio del Parlamento Europeo:
A cross-party delegation from the European Parliament was due to continue its programme with a visit to Gaza today, a visit which had been approved by the Israeli authorities.
Israel had yesterday afternoon granted final permission for all members of our delegation to travel. However, some three hours later entry for all members of the delegation was rescinded ’on security grounds’, without further explanation.
We insist on a full explanation of the security risks claimed by Israel.
We received the news of the cancellation with bewilderment and dismay. It is extremely curious that the cancellation came within a few hours of the announcement of the EU Council statement re-affirming Europe’s strong position in favour of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and an end to settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The inconvenience caused to our delegation is minor compared to the constant tension and harassment to which Palestinians live with in the occupied territories including house demolitions and evictions in East Jerusalem, and the appalling conditions under which the people are living in Gaza as reported to us by ECHO, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid office.
Our mission in the Gaza Strip was three-fold. Firstly, to check on the humanitarian conditions under which the people of Gaza are living in view of the continued restrictions being implemented by Israel. We were due to have a meeting there with Mr John Ging of UNWRA. Secondly, to urge the PLC members we were due to meet that reconciliation with their colleague elected members in the West Bank was essential to make progress on the establishment of a viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. Thirdly, to check on the effectiveness of EU expenditure in the area. This mission was clearly as much in the interests of Israeli security as it was in the interests of the Palestinian people.
Being denied access to Gaza does not improve the relationship between this Israeli government and the European Parliament. By denying elected members of the European Parliament the opportunity to meet our democratically-elected counterparts of the PLC is an unacceptable interference in the democratic process, and is contrary to international law.
We have already been in touch with the President of the European Parliament on this matter, and will be raising these matters in the European Parliament, with the European Council, and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. We do not intend to let this matter rest. Peace in the Middle East cannot be won by starving, or destroying the will, of 1.5m people in the Gaza strip, 50% of whom are young people. All it does is harden support for extremism.
A press conference will be organised in Ramallah this afternoon at 2.15pm, in the Government Media Center.
Alcuni naviganti affezionati mi hanno segnalato la circolazione, anche su FB, di informazioni un po’ particolari su Gaza. Ne ho letto uno, di questi articoli. Non firmato, scritto da una persona che si qualifica membro di una Ong (non precisata), e che accusa Hamas di collazionare tutti gli aiuti, impedendo a organizzazioni internazionali e a ong di distribuirli. Altro dato, inserito nell’articolo, è quello relativo all’incredibile aumento degli aiuti umanitari che arrivano a Gaza. La crisi umanitaria di Gaza, secondo questo articolo non firmato, sarebbe dunque un falso storico, o frutto della propaganda dei gazani.
Quello che segue è uno scritto di Karen AbuZayd, numero uno dell’UNRWA, l’agenzia dell’Onu che da 60 anni assiste i profughi palestinesi, reso pubblico nell’anniversario di fondazione dell’agenzia.
CONFRONTING DISPOSSESSION:CREATING FACTS IN THE MIND
by Karen AbuZayd, Commissioner GeneralUnited Nations Relief and Works Agency
8 December 2009
Sixty years ago today the United Nations General Assembly voted into existence a temporary body known as UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA’s task was to deal with the humanitarian consequences of the dispossession of some three quarters of a million Palestine refugees forced by the 1948 Middle East War to abandon their homes and flee their ancestral lands. Just two decades later, the Six Day War generated another spasm of violence and forced displacement, culminating in the occupation of Palestinian territory. Today, anguished exile remains the lot of Palestinians and Palestine refugees.
The occupation of Palestinian land persists, there is no Palestinian State and the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which Palestinians are entitled under international law do not exist. The occupation, now over forty years old, becomes more entrenched with every infringement of human rights and international law in the occupied Palestinian territory. Political actors hold in their hands the power to redress the travesties Palestinians endure. Yet, the approach has been, at best, to equivocate over the minutiae of the occupation – a checkpoint here, a bag of cement there – or, at worst, to look the other way, to acquiesce in or even support the measures causing Palestinian suffering.
From my perspective as the head of the Agency mandated to assist and protect Palestine refugees, it is particularly vexing that the prevailing approach fails – or refuses – to accord the refugee issue the attention it deserves. Over sixty years, dispossession has faded from the focus of peace efforts. The heart of where peace should begin is absent from the international agenda, pushed aside as one of the “final status” issues, one which belongs to a later stage of the negotiation process.
As forced displacements continue across the West Bank, as Palestinians are evicted from their homes in East Jerusalem, I ask a simple question. Is it not time for those engaged in the peace process to muster the will and the courage to address the Palestine refugee question? On this regrettable sixtieth anniversary of the agency which I shall leave in less than one month, I wish to refocus the debate on the displaced and dispossessed, to put the refugees at the centre of peace-making efforts.
Make no mistake, not a single conflict of contemporary times has been resolved, no durable peace achieved unless and until the voices of the victims of those conflicts were heard, their losses acknowledged and redress found to injustices they experience. The precedents of recent peace-making efforts and the methodology of contemporary conflict resolution affirm that giving high priority to resolving dispossession and the plight of refugees is a necessity, an international obligation and a humanitarian imperative. The Israeli-Palestinian confrontation is uniquely complex. Among its myriad dimensions, all of which require attention, the unresolved refugee issue is one of those most profoundly linked to the uncertainties of the regional situation and to the persistence of the conflict. Addressing it is, therefore, a sine qua non for making progress towards a negotiated solution.
Failing to engage with the refugee issue and consciously shunting it to one side has served only to disavow the refugees’ significance as a constituency with a prominent stake in delivering and sustaining peace. This has left many with a dangerous cynicism about the peace process, thus strengthening the hands of those who argue against peace itself. I refuse, however, to conclude my time in office on a pessimistic note. Instead I urge that we take steps to engage the marginalized.
Let us confound the cynics. Let us create alternative realities to disarm those who favour violence. I call on the peacemakers to acknowledge, in their rhetoric and their policies, the need to address Palestinian dispossession. Let symbolism and rhetoric give way to substance. On the sixtieth anniversary of UNRWA, I call on the international community and the parties to the conflict to acknowledge the sixty year old injustice as a first step towards addressing the consequences of that injustice. Let us build facts in the mind to create facts of a just and durable peace on the ground.