5 July 1992
The 25th Triennial Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1-6 July 1992 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia:
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,
A. That lack of progress in on-going negotiation on any substantive issues in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is leading to frustration, hopelessness and to greatly increased violence from all parties. Examples of this are: increased repression of Palestinians, including the enactment of a new policy that allows opening fire on Palestinians without warning and without criminal responsibility (known as the law of punitive measures); the bombing by Israel of refugee camps in Lebanon; the assassination of Sheik Abbas Musawai and his family; Israel’s arrest of two members of the Palestinian negotiating tea’ and an increase in armed confrontation and attacks on soldiers and civilians in Israel.
B. That Israel continues to build and enlarge settlements in the Occupied Territories (West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza) at an alarming rate. WILPF condemns the Israeli settlement policy because it is a violation of international conventions and is an obstacle to the peace process.
C. That in the 23 months since Iraq invaded Kuwait the arms trade to the Middle East has grown enormously. The US alone, in that period has sold $19 billion worth in arms, $6 billion since Bush’s ‘Middle East arms control initiative’. Most have gone to Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
D. That Iraqis, Palestinians, and other Middle Eastern people are still suffering the effects of the Gulf War, and coping with hunger, economic crisis and social dislocation.
A. To urge governments to support negotiations on substantive issues, including the right of self-determination, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the pre-1967 borders, and the banning of all weapons of mass destruction, as the current Arab-Israeli peace talks.
B. To declare our commitment to peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 242 and 338 (‘Territories for Peace’) – to states, Israel and Palestine, co-existing peacefully within secure and recognized boundaries.
C. To reiterate its support of Israelis and Palestinians who are continuously working for a peaceful and just resolution of the conflict by:
1. Calling especially for support of WILPF’s own Middle East sections, through solidarity actions material assistance, to encourage the two sections to keep all WILPF members informed of their work and of the support they require. (See background paper below).
2. Co-operating with Israeli peace movements to put a stop to settlements in the Occupied Territories. The US section in particular to work for a freeze on Israeli settlements using foreign aid as a lever for change in policy, including demanding compliance with U.S. law which forbids aid to countries that are in violation of human rights conventions;
3. Supporting the international campaign of the women’s peace movement to reunify Palestinian families in accordance with Article 74 of Protocol 1 of the 1997 addendum to the Fourth Geneva Convention which states: “The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate in every way possible the reunion of families dispersed as a result of armed conflicts.”
4. Supporting cooperative efforts such as the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) where Palestinians and Israelis are seeking innovative and practical solutions and creating models on issues such as economic development, water resources and energy towards the infrastructure of an independent Palestinian State.
5. Supporting activities of both Palestinian and Israeli human rights centers.
D. To press for involvement of the United Nations at all appropriate levels to encourage and strengthen the negotiation.
E. In view of the increased occurrence of violations of human rights against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories (see to WILPF document presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights, Jan. 30, 1992), to call for United Nations protection for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, for example, through the creation of multinational United Nations peace tams to be stationed in the Occupied Territories; and to call for the convening of a conference on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to examine reported Israeli violations in the Occupied Territories and to recommend measures to bring about a change in Israeli policy. Such measures might eventually include economic pressures, sanctions and the withholding of foreign aid.
F. To urge governments to press Israel to sign the Geneva Conventions, and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
G. To urge US and other nations to permit Palestinians fleeing from Kuwait and Jews leaving the former Soviet Union, to immigrate to the US, Europe and other countries, and to urge Israel to permit those Palestinians who wish to do so, to return to the Occupied Territories.
H. To urge that our governments investigate and take appropriate measures against reported human rights violations against peoples in Syria, Iraq, Kuwait and other Middle Eastern nations. He human rights of all people in these countries should be safeguarded regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, race of colour. Measures would include economic pressure and strong diplomatic messages to the respective governments.
I. To call for a total embargo on the sale and supply of armaments and spare parts to the whole of the Middle East, so that nations of the region can devote their resources to peaceful and constructive cooperation for the welfare and security of all people of the region. Security for the Middle East demands putting an end to all arms build-ups, the renunciation of all military intervention, and acceleration of the process of disarmament in highly armed countries.