Luisa Morgantini: The Assault on Jericho Prison is a Scandal Israel Must Immediately Halt the Maelstrom of Violence

Press Release from the Member of the European Parliament and President of the European Parliament Development Committee

Brussels, 14 March 2006

"The escalation of violence that we are witnessing today with the Israeli army assault on Jericho prison is scandalous. Israel cynically and brutally continues to use force to enter the Palestinian territories, to kill, to brutalise, and to violate any type of legality. This time the Israeli army does not even have the excuse of responding to an attack. What is emerging from Israel's attitude is solely a pitiless and cruel logic of vendetta and of the most brutal colonial domination."

With these words Luisa Morgantini, member of the European Parliament of the Gue-NGL group and President of the Development Committee, spoke of the Israeli army assault on Jericho prison which aims at capturing some Palestinian detainees currently held in the prison in the custody of US and British guards.
(The US and British withdrew for security reasons on 14 March and moments later the Israeli attack began. - editor/WLOE)

"The Americans and British must take responsiblity for their actions. The decison to abandon Jericho prison is a serious violation of the undertakings that were made and calls to mind the role of Sharon in the Sabra and Chatila massacre".

The 2002 accords assigned the custody of Ahmed Saadat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and other militia members found to be responsible for the killing of the Israeli minister Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001, to international guards.

"This act demonstrates a serious irresponsibility on the part of the  US and Great Britain. An irresponsibility that threatens to make Palestine become like Iraq, that foments and deepens the spiral of violence in the region. The scenes of Palestinians forced to come out half-naked and with their hands raised recalls other terribile scenes.

The Israeli government cannot remain unpunished. The breaking-off of diplomatic ties and the suspension of Israel from all International institutions would be deserved.

It is intolerable that the Palestinian people is forced to bear this type of arrogance from Israel and to be almost totally forgotten by the International Community.

Just as the violent reactions and the abductions of foreign citizens and attacks on istitutions by Palestinians is to be condamned, so too and once and for all, Europe and all the members of the Quartet must require Israel to put an immediate end to aggressive policies, to withdraw from the occupied territories and to abide to international law.

Peace is necessary to both Palestinians and Israelis. The best way is to stop Israeli unilateral action, and restart negotiations".

Ms. Morgantini is a member of the European Parliament, the Confederal Group of the European United Left, and Women in Black. See her profile at: 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005