During his official visit to Israel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi must ask Israel to immediately lift the illegal 10 year blockade of Gaza and raise the issue of 50 years of illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land, Amnesty International India said today.
This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister since establishment of diplomatic relations 25 years ago.
“Prime Minister Modi must tell his Israeli counterparts that the illegal settlements are a violation of international humanitarian law and cause of mass violations of human rights. He must also press them to lift the 10 year blockade of Gaza that has unlawfully deprived Palestinians in Gaza of their most basic rights and necessities,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.
“Merely condemning Israel’s settlement expansion cannot suffice. India should ban products from these illegal settlements as helping them flourish economically blatantly undermines its own international obligations.”
Israel’s ruthless policies of land confiscation, illegal settlement and dispossession, coupled with rampant discrimination, have inflicted immense suffering on Palestinians, depriving them of their basic rights.
“India cannot help enabling the economy that keeps these illegal settlements growing and keeps fueling the suffering of Palestinians. India must continue speaking for Palestinians who live life under constant fear,” said Aakar Patel.
Over decades, multiple UN resolutions have confirmed that Israeli settlements violate international law. Most recently, a UN Security Council resolution was passed in December 2016 calling on Israel to cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The resolution also called on all states to distinguish in all their dealings between the state of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
10 years of Gaza blockade
The situation in the Gaza Strip has become so untenable that in 2015 the UN warned it would become “uninhabitable” by 2020. Under Israel’s illegal blockade, movement of people and goods is severely restricted and the majority of exports and imports, raw materials have been banned.
The destruction wrought by three armed conflicts between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip in the 10 years since the blockade was imposed has also had devastating consequences on essential infrastructure and the deterioration of Gaza’s economy. All sides have committed violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes during these conflicts.