Urgent Appeal from Birzeit University,
Palestine LET OUR PEOPLE LIVE!
March 10th, 2001
We, faculty and staff at Birzeit University, appeal to our colleagues
and friends around the world to help us in delivering our simple but urgent
message -- let our people live! We will be delivering this message in peaceful
marches of protest to the Israeli soldiers and tanks that currently prevent
us from reaching our University by the only road that allows accessibility
and that has been recently blocked. The suffering of Palestinians in surrounding
villages who are cut off from their livelihoods, health care, schools and
markets is s also acute. So far protests have only been met with bullets
and tear gas. We need your help to bring our message to the world.
The wave of violence against the Palestinian
population has reached unprecedented proportions.
The Israeli army's policy of siege through blocking
roads and digging trenches around towns and villages
has been escalating, making it practically impossible to
meet people's very basic needs.
This policy has now reached Birzeit University,
preventing us and our students from reaching campus to
continue our classes, labs and academic life.
On 7 March 2001 in the dead of night, the Israeli
army destroyed portions of the only road linking the
University to Ramallah, gouging out trenches and
destroying about 400 meters of asphalt. This damage
to the only road linking Ramallah City to Birzeit village
and 33 other villages with a population of about 65000
has resulted in the total disruption of daily life. To date,
cars, ambulances and provisions are not able to cross
to and from Birzeit and surrounding villages. Most
Palestinian populated areas have already been
hermetically sealed, disregarding all standards of
dealing with civilians and contravening international law,
particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention. These
measures are, in the full sense of the term, war crimes.
With these actions, it becomes clear that such
policies are part of a long term strategy that Israel is
pursuing in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank .
This strategy has been adopted by successive Israeli
Governments, both of Barak and Sharon, in order to
subjugate the entire population, and will them to accept
We call on you to ACT NOW:
1.Call for an immediate end to the closure policies.
2. Call for the international protection of the Palestinian population.
3. Demand that Israel abide by international law.
Call the nearest Israeli Embassy in your area, or
send your protests to the Israeli Government on these
Benjamin Beneliazer, Israeli Minister of Defense at
and Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister at
For further follow up, please visit the Birzeit Website at www.birzeit.edu