Press statement Regarding Annapolis Conference
Upon US President George Bush's invitation, a conference is going to be held in Annapolis which is situated to the east of, Washington DC, the US capital, tomorrow dated 27/11/2007, to which was invited a lot of international leaders including Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, Tony Blair, the coordinator of the international quartet, George Bush, the US president, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the Israeli Military Occupation, in addition to other personalities coming from fifty different countries, including: Prince Saoud al-Faisal , the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, noting that this is the first time where an Israeli and a Saoudian leader meet.
According to the organizers, the purpose of this conference is to initiate negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis in order to cease the conflict between the two. It is worth mentioning that Annapolis Conference is not the first one for this purpose, but a lot of similar international and bilateral conferences were held such as Madrid conference, Wye River conference, Camp David negotiations, and Wye plantation etc. Unfortunately the result of all these conferences was negative, with respect to the Palestinian rights, on the contrary Palestinian sufferings increased, and not even one Palestinian refugee returned to his home.
Noting that, after every conference the settlement operations, the Judaization of Jerusalem, and the arrest of Palestinians are still on the rise. Palestinians in general and refugees in particular are worried about the right of return; this conference is being held accompanied with a severe economic blockade towards Gaza Strip accompanied with a suspicious Arab and international silence.
The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness), in view of the increasing doubts related to the main purpose of holding Annapolis conference, confirms the following points:
First: The right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland is a true and natural right which can not be prescribed, noting that the natural rights are not subject to negotiations. Providing that the International Human Rights Law in addition to the Human International Law has confirmed the right of return, in particular the fourth Geneva Convention in 1949, whose provisions are commanding and can not be entered into negotiations.
Subsequently, the idea of having negotiations concerning the Palestinian refugees is illegal, and its results are void. More than two thirds of Palestinians, who are refugees, are worried about Annapolis Conference.
Second: The suffocating economic blockade that the Palestinians are facing, particularly, in Gaza Strip is considered a war crime in its legal literal term. It is for the benefit of those meeting to lift the siege immediately. Noting that holding such a conference while the embargo is still imposed on civilians in Gaza Strip gives an innocence certificate for Israeli occupation. In this respect, we do invite the Arab Republic of Egypt to open Rafah Crossing and to extenuate circumstances to civilians in Gaza strip.
Third: the Annapolis conference is being held and more than 11000 arrested and prisoners are suffering in the Israeli occupation jails with the lack of simple rules regarding human rights. By the time of promoting peace operation, and initiating negotiations, the Israeli occupation army is still arresting many Palestinians; To the extent that the number of arrested reached 300. Urging the Israeli military occupation to free the arrested people is a necessary and a human demand.
The claim stating that a peace operation is going to take place, under the auspices of having a large number of arrested people in the Israeli occupation jails, is covering again the occupation crime.
Fourth: Occupation authorities are still breaking human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories , in a methodological and arranged way, the settlement operations is going on the rise, the Judaization of Jerusalem is in progress, in addition to the intentional killing operations, moreover, as well as restricting the freedom of passage and movement of the Palestinian citizens, and the arrest operations, in addition to the exploitation of the well groundwater, in the west bank, and the racist separate wall operations, all these significant human right violations are taking place without any deterrent preventing the occupation authorities the matter that encourage them to do more violations.
To hold such a conference is just as stating that what is going on in the occupied Palestinian territories is as if it is happening in another planet, which means that the occupation country respects the rules of Geneva conventions in 1949.