Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations are calling for an end to international donor complicity in Israeli violations of international law:
On 2 March 2009, major international donors convened in Sharm al-Sheikh to collectively respond to the destruction caused by Israel’s 23 day military offensive on the Gaza Strip (the offensive). During the conference, a total of $4.5 billion was pledged in reconstruction funds for Gaza. In light of the extensive destruction across the Gaza Strip, especially the destruction of civilian homes and infrastructure, reconstruction is urgent.
However, as Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, we must note that by agreeing to reconstruction without specific, binding assurances from the State of Israel, international donors are effectively underwriting Israel’s illegal actions in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). International law – including, international human rights law, international humanitarian law (IHL), and the law of state responsibility for wrongful acts – places specific, binding obligations on the State of Israel (based, inter alia, on its duties as an Occupying Power) with respect to the maintenance and development of normal life in occupied territory. By repeatedly restricting their action to providing aid, without holding Israel accountable for its specific obligations, international donors are relieving Israel of its legally binding responsibilities.
The collusion of many Western powers, including Australia, in this charade should be exposed. It’s absurd to back Israel completely, support its crimes in Gaza and then fund its reconstruction.