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Jan 17, 2011 at 04:51 PM

Russell Tribunal on Palestine

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) is an International People’s Tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East. These past years, following, inter alia: the international community’s failure to implement the International Court of Justice’s 2004 Advisory Opinion on the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory ; the lack of implementation of the resolution ES-10/15 confirming the ICJ Opinion, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 July 2004 ; and the Israeli offensive on Gaza in December 2008 – January 2009, committees have been created in different countries to promote and sustain a citizen’s initiative in support of the rights of the Palestinian people, with public international law as a legal frame of reference.

The RToP is imbued with the same spirit and espouses the same rigorous rules as those inherited from the Tribunal on Vietnam created by the eminent scholar and philosopher Bertrand Russell (1966-1967) and the Russell Tribunal II on Latin America (1974-1976) organized by the Lelio Basso International Foundation for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples.

Members of the International Support Committee of the RToP include Nobel Prize laureates, a former United Nations Secretary-General, two former heads of state, other persons who held high political office and many representatives of civil society, writers, journalists, poets, actors, film directors, scientists, professors, lawyers and judges.

The RToP proceedings comprise a number of sessions which deal with different aspects of complicities and omissions by states, international organisations and corporations in the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel and the perpetuation of the violations of international law committed by Israel.


The full findings of the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine into corporate complicity with Israeli violations of international law are now available online: http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/london-session/findings .

This authoritative document details how a number of the targets of the BDS movement are supporting Israeli Apartheid and clearly endorses BDS as an effective form of support of Palestinian rights and opposition to corporate complicity.
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Facts and Figures about the Current Darkness in the Gaza Strip

January 23rd 2008

Report from the Palestinian Hydrology Group
  1. Gaza Strip today is facing a very harsh siege which is expected to have severely negative humanitarian impact.
  2. The distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater completely rely on electricity and fuel in Gaza Strip.
  3. For several months now Israel has imposed a cruel siege on the Strip preventing people and goods from free movement. This has immobilized the importing of spare parts, pumps, pipes and other necessary accessories for the water and sanitation providing facilities.
  4. According to different sources the water and sanitation services are expected to be completely paralyzed within a matter of hours due to the lack of fuel reserves.
  5. About 133 water wells are being used for domestic purposes in addition to 33 sewage pump stations and three treatment plants; 10 of these groundwater wells function using fuel while the rest rely on electricity. Diesel powered generators are normally used as backup for the whole system but only for a limited time.
    The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility needs at least 100,000 liters of diesel per month to operate the water system. An additional 100,000 liters of diesel per month are needed for the sewage system to prevent wastewater from flooding the streets and residential areas.
  6. Reducing electricity and fuel supplies are potential causes to trigger an environmental crisis especially in the wastewater pump stations and treatment plants. If wastewater is not treated it will have to be pumped directly to the sea. This will for sure have a direct and negative impact on the groundwater aquifer and marine life.
    During winter time sewage pumps need to operate about 24 hours per day due to rainfall. Therefore, interruptions in fuel and electricity supply would be particularly significant.
  7. The sewage treatment plant in Beit Lahiya is also vulnerable to interruptions in electricity supplies. The treatment lagoons must be pumped regularly, or else the 10,000 people living in the area are in danger.  Six months ago, one of the lagoons over flooded and caused the death of five persons. Proper maintenance could have prevented the disaster.
  8. The water supply in Gaza City, with a total of 600,000 residents, in addition to a major part of the central portion of the Strip is expected to be completely cut-off as a result of ceasing the pumping from the municipal groundwater wells. The City also faces the threat of overflowing wastewater since the pumps (especially Al Samer and Aqoola stations) are expected to stop operating within the next 24 hours.
  9. If the current situation should persist the solid wastes generated in the Strip will accumulate in piles on the streets endangering the health of the locals.

The WaSH Monitoring Program calls on the International Community to push Israel to immediately cease all military operations, reopen the borders to allow the movement of people and goods and provide fuel supply and humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.

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