Mr. Powell, Stop Israel’s Attacks

I am writing to urge the United States to immediately implement UN Security Council Resolution 1402, passed last week with the support of the United States, requiring the immediate withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Palestinian towns and cities, especially Ramallah.

Openly defying the will of international community, Israel is continuing its widespread attacks against the entire Palestinian population including medical facilities and personnel.

Israeli occupation forces are currently attacking the headquarters of the Medical Relief Committees in Ramallah. The Haaretz website reported at 6 PM local time that:

“The Ramallah headquarters of the Medical Relief Committees came under heavy fire. Using megaphones, Israeli troops ordered all the building’s inhabitants out, including the medical staff, resident families, and a group of Italian peace activists. Head of the Medical Relief Committees, Dr Mustafa Barghouti told Ha’aretz said that all those who had left the building were made to stand against the walls with their hands up.”

The website added that “the organization is the most important non-governmental Palestinian group, providing medical assistance, treatment and first-aid to Palestinians. Its work is especially important at the moment as the Palestinian Red Crescent Society cannot reach all Palestinians injured in the city due to IDF roadblocks.” (IDF shells medical organization’s Ramallah headquarters, Haaretz, April 1, 2002)

This attack constitutes a direct and grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Security Council Resolutions 1402 and 1322 among many others.

I urge you to immediately deny press reports which say that the United States has given Israel a “green light” to continue its rampage in the occupied territories. If these reports are true, then it would mean that the United States has given its support to overt, grave breaches of international law, and even war crimes.

I urge you to declare clearly, in English and in Hebrew, that the quickest and only route to ending all the violence is to end Israel’s military occupation and rule of terror against millions of Palestinians, and to demand that Israel immediately accept the Arab League peace plan for a political settlement in accordance with international law.