4 January 2009
The Committee of Seven for World Peace Appeal
Members: Kinhide Mushakoji, Hideo Tsuchiyama, Yoshino Oishi,
Hisashi Inoue, Kayoko Ikeda, Michiji Konuma, Satoru Ikeuchi
The Committee of Seven for World Peace Appeal expresses its deep concern for the extremely serious situation in Gaza: it was occupied from 1967 to 2005 and has been put under siege for eighteen months, and incessant air raids have continued since 27 December 2008 and lastly Israeli ground troops invaded Gaza several hours ago leading to further escalation of the conflict.
The Committee calls upon the Government of Israel to cease its attack on Gaza immediately. The area is very much densely populated, and the attack by Israel, from the air and on the ground, cannot avoid inflicting casualties on the one and a half million civilian population. The destruction of administrative, cultural and educational, or religious institutions is unacceptable, and bombing civilian hospitals is a clear violation of the Geneva Agreement and cannot be tolerated by the international community (see Note 1).
The Committee demands also that Israel refrains from obstructing the visit to Gaza of the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations, Dr. Richard Falk (see Note 2) and abolish all restrictions on the visit of journalists to this area. The UN and civilian visitors of Gaza must have their safety guaranteed by the army and the Government of Israel.
They must guarantee the free movement of the wounded citizens and all others desiring to move out of Gaza.
The Committee calls upon the Hamas Authorities in Gaza to avoid retaliation causing an endless series of counter-retaliations. It calls upon all the neighboring countries and peoples to exercise utmost restraint to permit an immediate ceasefire.
We call upon the United Nations and its member States to take note of the plight of the citizens of Gaza Area, and mediate between the belligerent parties, demanding an immediate ceasefire, from a humanitarian point of view. The United Nations and the international community have been extending to the citizens of Gaza humanitarian support. In the face of the present humanitarian crisis, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the civil organizations express their deep concern (see Note 3). We join them in calling upon the United Nations and its member States to strengthen their assistance to rebuild the living conditions of the citizens of Gaza which have been destroyed during the present conflict.
We appreciate the emergency assistance repeatedly given to Palestine by various sources including Government of Japan. We expect that the Government of Japan also profits from the fact that it holds a seat as a non-permanent member on the U.N. Security Council, and presents concrete recommendations, as the French Government has done, towards peace in line with the principles of the Constitution of Japan (see Note 4).
The Government of Japan must conduct a survey in Gaza exercising its right to survey all the possible damages incurred at various institutions built with its ODA, and must present its complaints to the Government of Israel, while developing all kinds of constructive efforts to reestablish peace and bring human security in Gaza.
The Committee calls upon all the citizens of the world to continue expressing forcefully their will to support peace in Gaza.
“Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.” (The Article 18 of the Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949)
On 15 December 2008, after detainment for 20 hours at the Ben Gurion Airport Israeli authorities deported Dr. Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, who had arrived in the country to conduct his duties to investigate rights abused in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Dr. Falk was concerned about the possibility that the siege of Gaza since Hamas had assumed power in this area denied to the citizens the basic conditions of a descent human life, and thus constituted a “crime against humanity”. He wanted to enter in Gaza to investigate this matter.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian Territory, issues concrete and detailed reports nearly everyday on the serious situation in Gaza, including the Gaza Humanitarian Situation Report. See, http://www.ochaopt.org
“We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want” ( from the Preamble of the Constitution of Japan).
Contact: Michiji Konuma (member; Secretary General)
200-9 Kudencho, Sakaeku, Yokohama 247-0014 Japan