Israel’s reaction to the convening of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
December 5, 2001

Reacting to High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention meeting held in Geneva today, Israel termed the meeting a futile exercise and an abuse of a humanitarian instrument.

There is no legal basis in the Convention for holding such a conference, which could have no positive humanitarian effect and might undermine the delicate situation in the region.

This Conference will neither solve the humanitarian concerns on the ground, nor contribute to the welfare of the Palestinian population. Furthermore, the declaration contains no reference to the conscious Palestinian decision to resort to violence rather than continue negotiations, nor to the many thousands of acts of terrorism against Israelis, which have resulted in the death of 230 Israelis and the wounding of more than a thousand. Convening the meeting just days after 28 Israeli civilians were massacred in Jerusalem and in Haifa by Palestinian terrorists without any reference to these horrendous terrorist acts render it meaningless. Nor does the declaration make a reference to the constant fraudulent misuse of ambulances by the Palestinian side and to the attacks on ambulances of the Israeli Red Magen David Society.

The statement adopted at the meeting is clearly one-sided and contains sections with unsubstantiated allegations against Israel. The declaration ignores entirely the continuous and vicious incitement against Israel in the Palestinian media and in school textbooks, which together with actions by organs of the Palestinian Authority contribute to creating a cult of suicide bombers who have wreaked havoc in Israeli towns and villages, killing and maiming innocent civilians in discotheques, restaurants and markets.

Israel expressed regret the convening of the Conference risks turning a humanitarian instrument with the highest aspirations into a tool for political attacks against one party, thus rewarding a deliberate policy of instigating violence. It could also encourage the Palestinian leadership to believe that the path to political gains is not through the implementation of the Mitchell Report and consequently at the negotiating table but rather through other means.