In light of the continuing attacks against the Palestinian people and their property, and the dangerously escalating violence in the Occupied Territories, the need for international intervention is becoming increasingly urgent. Previous attempts to establish an official international observer and protection force in Palestine have failed, partly due to the reluctance of the international community to take such an action without Israel’s consent. Therefore, NGOs have realized the urgent need for a grassroots initiative providing international protection for the Palestinian people. This initiative takes the form of a joint Palestinian and worldwide campaign which will unite NGOs, churches and church-related institutions, aid agencies, solidarity groups, human rights activists and concerned individuals, in their efforts to protect the Palestinian people. These groups and individuals will raise awareness and funds, mobilize the public and advocacy groups, initiate informed public debates, and encourage volunteers to form an international presence in Palestine.
This campaign is led by various civil society organizations, namely the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace, the General Union of Charitable Associations, YMCA/YWCA, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center and the PNGO Network. Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council will also be involved. This initiative will be open to other civil society organizations that are interested in participating and have the capacity to do so.
We hope that this grassroots initiative will, through its commitment to non-violence, human rights and a just peace, show the world the harsh reality and daily terror of Palestinian life under the occupation, and, in so doing, encourage the international community to take positive action and establish an Official International Protection Force in Palestine.