Switzerland: Israel has violated international humanitarian law
Palestine-Israel-Switzerland, Politics, 7/4/2006
The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said that it " is deeply concerned about the recent escalation in violence in the Near East and its humanitarian consequences. As the occupying power, it demands that Israel respect international humanitarian law in its military efforts to liberate a captured soldier. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which is part of the DFA, has earmarked an additional one million Swiss francs for essential medical supplies for the civilian population in the Gaza Strip."
It added "The recent escalation in violence has reached a new peak with the destruction of the offices of the Palestinian prime minister. The DFA is deeply concerned about this development and has renewed its appeal to Israel, as the occupying power, to respect international humanitarian law in the measures it undertakes to liberate the captured soldier. It appeals to the soldier's captors to treat him humanly."
It added "A number of actions by the Israeli Defense Forces in their offensive against the Gaza Strip have violated the principle of proportionality and are to be seen as forms of collective punishment, which is forbidden. For the DFA, there is no doubt that Israel has not taken the precautions required of it in international law to protect the civilian population and infrastructure. The destruction of a power station, the attack on the offices of the Palestinian Prime Minister, the arbitrary arrests of a large number of democratically elected representatives of the people and ministers, as well as the withdrawal of the residence permits of three members of parliament and a minister in East Jerusalem cannot be justified. Attacks on civilian property are forbidden by international law. The DFA demands that Israel forgo any further attacks on civilian property, ensure the protection of the civilian population, and release the detained representatives insofar as no concrete grounds in individual cases exist that fully justify their lawful arrest."
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