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Palestinian campaign for Israel arms boycott takes aim at Italy
Published Saturday 23/08/2014 (updated) 24/08/2014 11:42
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(BDS Movement)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have launched a campaign to pressure Italy to pull out of joint military exercises with the Israeli military in September, as a global movement for an arms boycott of Israel gained strength in the wake of the recent assault.

Dozens of Gazans took pictures of themselves holding signs across the besieged coastal enclave demanding Italy end its military cooperation with Israel in the exercise, which is expected to take place on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia in September.

The pictures, taken across Gaza with backgrounds that include destroyed homes, hospitals, and the tiny coastal enclave's bombed seaport, include signs asking Italy not to "train the pilots who bomb us," and show "solidarity" by standing with "the oppressed."

The campaign comes in the wake of Israel's brutal assault on the Gaza Strip over the last six weeks, which has killed more than 2,090 Palestinians, injured more than 10,550, and left more than 100,000 homeless.

Although the campaign targets the Italian training in the autumn specifically, it is part of the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement's call for a total arms embargo on Israel, originally issued in 2011.

The call noted that "cooperation with Israel is maintained despite its systematic resort to massive violence against and killing of Palestinian and other Arab civilians, including school children and peaceful activists, and in spite of its increasingly brutal colonial policies against the Palestinian people and the persistent flouting of international law."

The embargo, it added, is a "crucial step towards ending Israel's unlawful and criminal use of force against the Palestinian people and other peoples and states in the region and would constitute an effective, non-violent measure to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations under international law."

The call also stressed the context of occupation in which Israel is engaging in military force, adding: "Israel's attempt to justify this kind of illegal use of belligerent military force as 'self-defense' does not stand up to legal -- or moral -- scrutiny, as states cannot invoke self-defense for acts that serve to defend an unlawful situation which they have created in the first place."

The campaign for an embargo was buoyed on Thursday, when international aid organization Oxfam called on "all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition to Israel and any Palestinian armed group while there is serious risk that they could be used to violate international humanitarian law."

In a statement, the organization noted that the assault had caused widespread infrastructural damage in Gaza and had killed at least 1,500 civilians there as well as three in Israel as of Thursday, and called upon states to end the transfer of arms to Israel and any group that had hit civilians.

Nishant Pandey, head of Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, said in the statement: "Now more than ever, the international community should exert maximum diplomatic pressure, including suspending arms and ammunitions transfers, to show that the world will not tolerate the violence and civilian suffering for a moment longer."

1 ) forums islam / england
23/08/2014 14:08
I don't agree to Italy cooperation in sending weapons to Israel. its an act of inhumanity.

2 ) Porto / Italia
23/08/2014 15:44
Milan is in solidarity with Palestinian people. Israel has built illegal settlements and needs to go back to 1967 borders. Israelis are a bunch of land thieving terrorists.

3 ) Dimi / Germany
23/08/2014 16:57
I accept your campaign to a certain degree only,if the Gazans are honest and brave they should first of all blame Hamas for building tunnels/firing rockets instead spend the money for the interests of Gazans who deserve a better live.

4 ) Concepta Flynn / Ireland
23/08/2014 17:27
Maybe His Holiness Pope Francis could lend support to this campaign, and request that the Italian Government ends its military co operation with Israel. He could further direct that Roman Catholics everywhere lend their support to the wider BDS movement, in order to achieve peace in the Holy Land.

5 ) reader / world
23/08/2014 17:36
The pictures of injured children carrying the sign is very powerful.

The leaders of US, Canada, Britain and European countries who support, finance and arms israel to commit war crimes and get away deserve to be send to the Hague tribunal too.

6 ) Jeff / USA
23/08/2014 18:47
All of the international community needs to stand up and finally put an end to Israel's criminal acts. They arrogantly flaunt their self-perceived superiority in the face of the entire world, claiming "self defense" against situations they created themselves by murdering & displacing hundreds of thousands of people since the early 1900's. Right-wing Zionists are evil people with no regard for basic human rights of anyone other than themselves. Support BDS against Israel and end the occupation!!

7 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
23/08/2014 20:57
I don't agree to anybody sending weapons to any Muslim country, where more than 2 million Muslims have been slaugtered in the past decades. Iran-Iraq, Afghaistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt, all of them slaughering fellow Muslims with weapons supplied by the international community. If you love life and human rights - protest the Muslim countries who kill with impunity.

8 ) Arnold / Canada
24/08/2014 05:40
Embargoes do not work. They might drive up the cost that's all. As much as Israel tried to stop Palestinians from getting arms look how that went. Arms dealers will get you what you need.

9 ) gold / phil
24/08/2014 06:00
italy must sever all military and economic ties with israel

10 ) Randi / NJ
24/08/2014 08:54
as to the above photos? is a word to the wise sufficient? each country has to decide. I'll repeat myself again: might or right?

11 ) rosi / Iraly
24/08/2014 13:16
on 13 of September Sardinia reply to the call with a peaceful protest at the air base in Capo Frasca against Israel's military exercises in Sardinia. The event is organized by Sardinia-Palestine friendship association and numerous cultural associations and political pacifist parties joined http://ilmanifesto.info/lisola-della-pace-via-le-basi-e-basta-esercitazioni-militari/

12 ) matt / usa
24/08/2014 21:34
All rhe killing Israel is doing. And you people blame Hamas!!!!! if you so then you most be ignorant human being. you have no clue with the reality what rhe teror the Israel is doing to peopleof palestin. Hamas its the one that trying to stop the teror goverment of Israel to steal more land frompalestinians. Wake you ignorant people and stop blamin hamas. The real teror is Israel. May GOD protect the palestinians and the whole the fighters

13 ) Jeff / USA
25/08/2014 02:41
Brian Cohen, as you described, everyone should protest Israel who has killed innocent people with impunity since before 1948.
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