April 4 2003

To the Israeli Parliament

To the Palestinian National Authority

To the European Parliament

To the Parliaments of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom

To Amnesty International

To Human Rights Watch

On April 6, last, the trial of Marwan Barghouti – member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and therefore protected by parliamentary immunity – resumed in Tel Aviv.

As “European Jews for a Just Peace” we are seriously concerned about the legality of this trial. We stress that the trial is political in character , based on generalised charges aimed at distracting public opinion from the real causes of the present terrible situation, – the continuing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories in open violation of international law and of several UN resolutions.

We also stress that the arrest, imprisonment and trial itself are violations of the IV Geneva Convention and of the Oslo Agreements of 1993. In particular, article 49 of the IV Geneva Convention prohibits individual and mass deportations by occupying forces, and gives the occupied population the status of protected persons.

Further, according to the statute of the International Criminal Court – to which Israel has not agreed – such behaviour would be defined as a war crime.

We call upon the International Community and articularly on human rights organizations, to monitor the trial and to demand yet again that international legality be respected.

On behalf of “European Jews for a Just Peace” (*)

Secretariat is at:

(*) is a federation consisting of 18 groups of Jews for peace in the Middle East from nine European countries.