One year’s denial of democracy in Palestine

January 25, 2007

Israel, the United States of America and the European Union bear the responsibility!

On 25 January 2006 free and democratic elections were held to choose a new Palestinian
Legislative Council (PLC), which received universal praise for the exemplary way in which they were
conducted. The outcome was that Hamas emerged as the strongest power and the designated

Since the election the governments of the United States of America, the European Union and
Israel have enforced a paralysing boycott of Hamas, inflicting collective punishment on the entire
Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

With the declared aim of obstructing the Hamas Government Israel has, since March 2006,
withheld the tax money raised in the Occupied Territories and due to the Palestinian Authority.
Payments to maintain public services and a guaranteed minimum social security, agreed on in
accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, are also being withheld by the European Union and
the United States. This has made it impossible for the Palestinian Authority to pay salaries and
maintain even the usual services. All staff members of the Authority, including teachers, doctors
and policemen have gone unpaid for almost an entire year. Donations from Arab States,
international and private sources do not reach the population of the Occupied Territories. Hunger,
deprivation and despair are the consequence.

The elected government has not been given the opportunity to govern. In June 2006 64
officials, including 8 Ministers and 20 other Parliamentarians, were arrested by the Israeli army.
Other functionaries in politics and society have since been living underground.
It is obvious that Israel refuses to negotiate with any Palestinian partner, no matter which
party is in power. Supported by the governments of the EU and USA the Israeli occupiers have now
proceeded to even deny the Palestinians a government and political leaders their own free choice.
Today, one year after the Palestinian elections, the Executive Committee of the European
Jews for a Just Peace condemns the boycott, siege and collective punishment of the entire
Palestinian population, which has reached inhuman and catastrophic levels in all parts of the Gaza
Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Together with many other peace and solidarity groups we
call on the governments in Europe and the USA to end the boycott of the Palestinian government
and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories.
Only with unbiased, honest, and fair negotiations between all parties concerned and a
complete end to the Israeli occupation can a solution to the conflict be reached, a solution which
will be beneficial for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

The European Union must end the boycott of a democratically elected government and
demand the release of democratically elected legislators. European Jews for a Just Peace, with
members and contacts in many member states of the EU intends a series of meetings with
Commissioners and MEPs to press these demands.

Executive Committee
European Jews for a Just Peace
25 January 2007