NIAPN response to Lebanese crisis

The Northern Ireland Anti Poverty network has issued the following statement in relation to the crisis in the Middle East, and attaches a release from the Arab NGO network. (below fold). I feel a mass protest rally coming on very soon, and perhaps not soon enough. If you read to the end, there are options for signing a petition, e-mailing or writing to the Foreign Secretary. Links to other sites as well, if you want to read more.

The Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network wishes to express its strongest protest at the failure of the international community to intervene in the mass murder of innocent citizens on the Middle East. The past few days has seen a horrendous escalation in attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Lebanon. Yet the G8 leaders have failed conspicuously to uphold their moral and legal obligation to address such blatant breaches of international humanitarian law, which in some cases have amounted to war crimes. We are calling on you to do something concrete to stop this blatant abuse of human rights. You could write a letter or send an email to the Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett. A copy of the letter we are sending is attached for your information. Please forward this email on to others to ensure the government gets our message loud and clear.

Subject: The Arab NGO Network for development issued the attached call addressed to the international and Arab communities

A Call upon the International and Regional Communities

Say STOP to Israeli War on Lebanon

Lebanon has been under a war attack by Israel since Wednesday the 12th of July 2006. The situation has been deteriorating and the military attacks have been escalating.

Israeli aggression against Lebanon went far beyond a reaction to a military operation targeting its soldiers. The capture of Israeli soldiers is
serving as a mere pretext for a major offensive attack by Israel on the aspirations and the morale of the Lebanese people, as is the case with
the Palestinian people through the continuous attacks on Gaza. Israeli army is targeting Lebanese civilians and civil infrastructure. The Israeli
aggression against Lebanon can be described as a collective punishment against all the Lebanese people. More than 100 victims and thousands
of injured inhabitants is the result of the first four days of the attack. In addition to human losses, three airports were targeted and all the coastal
ports and transport and communications infrastructure including wheat elevators, bridges, and power stations have been bombed and rendered unusable.

Moreover, Israeli army was given the political encouragement and green light from the newly elected Israeli prime Minster and his government to systematically siege the Lebanese people and fragment Lebanese villages, towns, and cities into isolated areas. ANND condemns Israeli military aggression against civilians which is a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits the attacks on the civilian infrastructure.

From an alive, peaceful, and secure country, Lebanon became a shattered country not able to protect its citizens and cities. Lebanon is in an
urgent need for relief support and solidarity in order to face the challenges related to displacement and injuries, in addition to the reconstruction
plan of the destructions resulting form the Israeli aggression. The Arab NGO Network for Development calls upon the international community to immediately intervene in order to protect civilians and to end Israeli aggression against Lebanon. ANND joins the call of the Lebanese prime minister to an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire under the support of a strong UN Peacekeeping Mission supervision.

We call upon the international community to condemn the Israeli attack as “state terrorism”. The targeting of civilians and deliberate creation
of terror is terrorism. We need a clear and wide affirmation from the international community that human life is precious irrespective of nationality
or religion. The right to life and security is above any other consideration. We call upon all concerned civil society organizations around the world to voice out their refusal for the current attack on Lebanon and the ineffective role of the United Nations whether at the level of Security Council or at the level of their peacekeeping troops on the grounds which are failing to protect the threatened civilians from the massacres resulting from Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

We call upon Arab civil society groups to mobilize on a regional and international level; to push their governments and their country missions at the United Nations in New York to take action whether through diplomatic channels or the United Nations channels to stop the brutal Israeli military attacks on Lebanon. We ask them to push their governments to call for a General Assembly of the United Nations, which have the right in the case of failure of the Security Council, to take action against military attacks on any country.

We believe that the people around the world, who believe in human rights and the right to life and security, have a big role to say NO against such an unexplainable attack on Lebanon. We call upon them to take their refusal to the streets, to voice their refusal to such fierce and brutal aggression over Lebanon.

We depend on you.

What you can do: Sign the petition below.

Write a letter to the Foreign Office Minister Margaret Beckett calling for immediate action to stop this illegal war.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London SWIA 2AH

OR send an email to margaret.beckett@fco.gov.uk

SIGN THE PETITION ‘Save the Lebanese Civilians’: www.epetitions.net/julywar

For more information on the current situation in Lebanon, you can visit:

http://sanayehreliefcenter.blogspot.com, http://siegeoflebanon.blogspot.com, http://lebanonupdates.blogspot.com, http://waronlebanon.blogspot.com