Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
The statement calls for an end to the war, and an end to the root of the problem in the Middle East which is the continued military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, that has lasted for almost 40 years.
With Israel’s invasion of Gaza on June 27th, 2006, ministries and educational institutions have been destroyed, as has the plant that supplies nearly 50 percent of Gaza‘s electricity. Bridges, roads, dozens of homes, and hundreds of dunams of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Sixty-four elected Palestinian legislators, cabinet ministers and officials have been detained without charge.
Lebanon and Palestine have been enduring Israeli policies of extermination and vandalism for decades. UTA equally condemns the international conspiracy of silence and Arab impotence in the face of the continuous Israeli-American crimes.
For us, women of Palestine, we shall never give up our national right to self determination and independence, and we shall never relinquish our right to resist the cruel and criminal policies of the Israeli state against our people in Palestine and Lebanon. Towards that end, we call upon international civil society to shoulder its moral responsibilities and join the growing movement to isolate apartheid Israel through a comprehensive regime of boycotts, divestment initiatives, and calls for sanctions against Israel.
Participants stressed that the goals of the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon are evidently much broader than a mere reaction to the capture of Israeli soldiers during military operations by the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance.
On the Palestinian front, the Israeli military operation comes in the context of a comprehensive integrated policy to destroy the infrastructure of the Palestinian society. It is another attempt to weaken the Palestinian entity and sabotage any hope for development.
In the meanwhile, Israel’s almost forgotten attack on Gaza continues unabated, with total impunity, leaving behind a trail of death, an imminent health disaster, and widespread destruction of vital infrastructure. Again, the pretext that all this criminal devastation, which already caused the death and injury of hundreds of innocent Palestinians, was intended to win the release of one Israeli soldier captured by the Palestinian resistance, does not stand the test of reality or logic.