As the Israeli military assault against the Balata and Jenin refugee camps continues for the third consecutive day, the number of Palestinian casualties and injuries continues to rise. Since the night of 27/28 February, at least 21 Palestinians have been killed in the two camps, two of them children aged 10 and 11 years. Two additional Palestinians were killed in Nablus and in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip (a 7 year old boy). The number of injuries is reported to have reached well over 200.
The following appeal was sent yesterday by the Union of Youth Activity Centers-Palestine Refugee Camps to Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and to representatives of the international community, including the President of the European Union:
APPEAL: STOP THE SHARON GOVERNMENT!
In the light of the current campaign conducted by the United States and Israeli, and in the light of the rejection by the United States of the Palestinian demand for international protection, we wish to emphasize that Palestinian refugees in general, and residents of the refugee camps in particular, are part and parcel of the Palestinian people and entitled to international protection in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and human rights conventions.
Based on the above, we demand to be granted such protection immediately. We demand such protection especially now, while we are confronted with a situation which endangers our lives, security and survival, and for as long as our issue is not resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and we cannot return to our homes from which we were expelled. Our return was to be guaranteed by the UN Conciliation Commission on Palestine (UNCCP) established in response to UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of 1948. Due to Israel’s rejection, however, the UNCCP failed to implement our return until this day.
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
We call upon the United Nations and its Security Council to stop the assault of the Sharon government against the rights of the Palestinian people in general, and Palestinian refugees in particular, especially in the two refugee camps of Balata and Jenin. The current assault is reminiscent of the 1982 massacre committed by Sharon-led military forces in the Palestinian refugee of camps of Sabra and Shatila, Beirut. Again Sharon’s forces are preventing the access of ambulances to the injured, setting on fire our homes and demolishing them.
We also call upon the international community and its institutions to provide protection for the Palestinian people, who is being massacred in front of the world’s eyes. We wish to affirm the right of our people to resist and fight the occupation in order to achieve its rights, foremost the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
Union of Youth Activity Centers-Palestine Refugee Camps
1 March 2002
The Union of Youth Activity Centers (UYAC) is a voluntary Palestinian community organization operating Youth Activity Centers in 27 refugee camps and communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The UYAC has some 42,000 members, offers services and activities in the field of culture and sports, and raises awareness for Palestinian refugee rights.
Tel: -(0)2-5835731; tel-fax: -2-5849468 (West Bank headquarters);
Tel: -(0)8-2874151 (Gaza Strip office).