ADC Asks US to Enforce Security Council Resolution 1402, End Israeli Assault on Palestinians
Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), today called on President Bush to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1402, which the United States voted for, and which demands an immediate withdrawal from Palestinian towns re-invaded by Israel since Friday. In defiance of the UN and US, Israel has instead expanded its attacks into Bethlehem, Qalqiliya, and other Palestinian towns, and continues to besiege Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah compound. Credible reports suggest that Israeli forces have been summarily executing prisoners and invading hospitals, but journalists and international observers have been banned from the areas under attack by Israeli occupation forces. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that the current attack on the Palestinian people is only in its initial stages and could last for many weeks. Its aims have not been specified, and the Israeli Defense Minister has said that there “are no borders and no limits” to the offensive. ADC President Ziad Asali said “Prime Minister Sharon continues to promise Israelis peace and security through violence and warfare. Yet he has an unbroken record of increasing Israel’s insecurity and escalating the conflict at every stage, while bringing down appalling degrees of death and destruction on the Palestinian people. Sharon seems convinced that there is a military solution to this conflict, but every measure he takes only intensifies Palestinian resistance.” “This nightmare has to end now, Asali declared, “this Israeli attack on the Palestinian people must end, the suicide bombings must end, the violence has got to stop. The only way to do that is to end the 35-year old Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which is the basis for the entire conflict in the first place. The Arab League peace plan provides the only ray of hope.” “It is imperative that the Bush Administration move immediately to start new negotiations based on that plan, enforce Security Council Resolution 1402, and get Israel’s troops out of Palestinian cities at once,” Dr. Asali concluded.
ADC has welcomed the Arab League’s unanimous endorsement of a proposal for full normalization of relations with Israel in return for Israel keeping its troops inside its recognized international borders and a just settlement for the Palestinian refugees based on UN resolutions. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has called the plan “unacceptable,” a “non-starter” and a “plot to destroy Israel.” 1,269 Palestinians and 416 Israelis, mostly unarmed civilians on both sides, have been killed in the past 18 months.