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This petition was launched as an effort to send a strong and clear message from the Palestinian community to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Mary Robinson, who - based on the resolution issued by the Special Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/RES/S-5/1; 19 October 2000) - is currently on a fact-finding mission in Palestine. Based on her mandate, Mrs. Robinson is to "take stock of the violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupying power; to facilitate the activities of the mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights in implementing the present resolution; to report to the Commission on Human Rights at is next (fifty-seventh) session and, on an interim basis, to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session."
An initial presentation of this petition to the UN High Commissioner, including some 1000 signatures, was made yesterday, 13 October, prior to her meeting with Palestinian human rights organizations at the Al-Bireh Municipality/Ramallah. Additional signatures will be gathered for one more week (until 21 November 2000) and forwarded to High Commissioner Robinson prior to the completion of her report.
For additional information on the current uprising, Israeli repression, relevant UN resolutions, and the Palestinian demand for international protection, see Intifada2000
AN URGENT CALL to MRS. MARY ROBINSON
UN HIGH COMMISSIONER on HUMAN RIGHTS
WE, the undersigned, call urgently on Mrs. Mary Robinson to uphold, in full, the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on behalf of the Palestinian people, at this most critical and dangerous historical juncture. In particular, we call on her urgently to affirm Article #1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which calls for the inalienable right of all peoples to self-determination, and which continues to be grievously and systematically violated by Israel's occupation, and by its refusal to accept the right of return.
The right to self-determination and continued occupation stand in fundamental conflict. Continued occupation is the root cause of the present situation. It is the machinery of occupation which produces the systematic violation of the range of other individual and collective rights provided for by the Covenant, including the right to liberty and security of person, the right to freedom of movement, the right to control one's own natural resources, and others. It is the machinery of occupation which produces settlements, closures, checkpoints, home demolitions, land confiscation, destruction of crops, and wanton killings by settlers and occupation forces, which the Palestinian people have continued to endure even during the last 7 years under cover of the peace process.
Occupation can be maintained only by violence or the threat of violence. Instead of respecting the principles of human rights and international law, and acknowledging the Palestinian right to self-determination, Israel has declared war on the Palestinian people. It has openly unleashed an arsenal of military violence against them. In just six weeks, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed and over six thousand wounded. We demand a total end to the occupation. We appeal urgently to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to call for the implementation of the Palestinian right to self-determination, and as a first step, to call for an international protection force for the Palestinian people, before continued violence against Palestinian society results in massive destruction for the second time in 52 years.