The first international session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine with a focus on the Palestinian right to self determination and the global responsibility of ending Israeli crimes against Palestinians has come to an end in Spain’s eastern city of Barcelona.
At the closing of the session Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, enumerated Tel Aviv’s international-law violations. "Among serious Israeli infringements are closure of Gaza Strip borders, restrictions on the freedom movement of its inhabitants, stripping Palestinian refugees of return right to their land of origin as well as preventing Palestinians from free use of natural resources such as water within their land," she said.
She added that given the discriminatory and biased nature of these measures, Israel has established an "apartheid state" in the area.Israel is denying Palestinians access to their own land, violating property rights and seriously restricting the freedom movement of the Palestinian population by constructing a wall in the occupied West Bank territories.
The activist also said that Tel Aviv violates the right to live of Palestinian nation through a policy of targeted assassinations of Palestinians it describes as militants.
The participants at the three-day event also argued that the European Union has been complicit in aiding and abetting Israelis to carry out their horrendous crimes. They pointed out that Israel is guilty of major crimes of domination, subjugation.
Like the apartheid era in South Africa when a white minority was ruling over a black majority, Israel seeks to take control of the Palestinians’ lives, they said.
The activists also called on the EU member states — especially France, Germany and Romania — to strop selling weapons to Israel. They also demanded a ban on import of Israeli products, which are made in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is made up of four sessions. At the end of 2010, a London session will scrutinize the complicity of corporations in normalizing and continuing Israel’s violations of international law.
In mid-2011, a session in South Africa will consider apartheid in Israel. And the final session, which will be held in the United States next year, will go through the role of the Washington within the United Nations. It will also evaluate the decision-making processes used to deal with violations of international law.