UK: Cardiff conference on human rights in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is an important event
In response to criticism from the Welsh Secretary David TC Davies concerning a forthcoming conference in Cardiff next month on human rights in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, an Amnesty International UK spokesperson said:
“Amnesty International UK is disappointed that David TC Davies MP has criticised a forthcoming conference on human rights in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and we are concerned about the accuracy of his comments about Amnesty.
“Amnesty has (7 October) strongly and unequivocally condemned the events of the weekend, and made clear that we are deeply alarmed by the mounting civilian death tolls in Israel and Gaza, and urgently called on all parties to the conflict to abide by international law and make every effort to avoid further civilian bloodshed.
“Furthermore, Amnesty has commented on reports that Israeli civilians - including children - have been abducted by Palestinian armed groups and taken hostage, and made clear that the abduction of civilians and hostage-taking are prohibited by international law and can constitute war crimes.
“Amnesty has stated that all civilians held hostage must be released immediately, unconditionally, and unharmed; and that all those held captive must be treated humanely in accordance with international law and granted medical treatment.
“Amnesty has called for the root causes of the repeated cycles of violence to be addressed as a matter of urgency, meaning an end to Israel’s 16-year-long illegal blockade on Gaza and all other aspects of Israel’s system of apartheid imposed on Palestinians.
“The Israeli government must refrain from inciting violence and tensions in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, especially around religious sites. Amnesty is calling on the international community to urgently intervene to protect civilians and prevent further suffering.
“We are disappointed that Mr Davies has stated that Amnesty has not unequivocally condemned the impact of the conflict on civilians, and we hope that he will correct his mis-statement.
“The conference on human rights in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories was a long-planned event, and is one that is now even more important in light of the need for a comprehensive effort to address the deepening human rights crisis in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”