Her Excellency Florence Levy
Ambassador of the Republic of France
French Embassy in Slovenia
Barjanska cesta 1
State parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide have a duty to take all appropriate measures to prevent the execution of genocide; failing to do so renders them liable for violations of international law. The Geneva Conventions also clearly stipulate the duty of state parties to do their utmost to ensure that the provisions of the conventions are respected in all circumstances and that violations are prosecuted.
Gaza is becoming a graveyard. The death toll is approaching twenty thousand and is rising daily. Almost 8.000 children have died. People are dying not only because of the bombardments, but also because of the lack of medical care, water and food. The number of victims is increasing in the occupied West Bank, as well. In the last fifteen years the year 2023 was the deadliest for West Bank Palestinians, with almost two hundred killed by Israeli occupying forces by the end of August. Since the attacks and aggression began on 7th October violence by the Israeli army and settlers in illegal settlements in the West Bank has been increasing daily. There have been warnings about the growing incitement in public discourse in Israel. Palestinians in Israel have already been targeted.
The incitement to violence and hatred that has been building up throughout 75 years of Israeli ethnic cleansing and perpetuated through the regime of apartheid and occupation is now in plain sight with Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog’s calls for collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza; the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of his ministers, and in particular, the statements by the Minister for Defence Yoav Gallant, and the Minister for National Security Itmar Ben-Gvir.These were followed by the statements by MPs calling for the total eradication of Gaza and the calls by prominent intellectuals and celebrities for the expulsion of the Palestinian population. All of this confirms the validity of the warnings – including those from UN experts – that we are witnessing atrocities that could and will amount to the execution of genocide if decisive action is not taken now.
It is therefore imperative that you call upon your government to:
- unequivocally and visibly warn of the danger and unacceptability of committing genocide against Palestinians;
- adopt an embargo on trade in arms and military equipment with Israel – and urge other EU Member States to do the same;
- persistently and unconditionally call for an immediate ceasefire and ensure respect for the human rights of the people of Gaza and the West Bank;
- offer all the humanitarian and medical assistance that the people of Gaza could need, need and will need after the widespread destruction of lives, homes and infrastructure that we are witnessing;
- demand an impartial investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity and support the work of the International Criminal Court and other tribunals that would use the possibility of universal jurisdiction to achieve accountability for violations of international law;
- prohibit trade and cooperation, both academic and economic, with illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank;
- take measures, following the example of states during the apartheid regime of South Africa, to ensure an end to the apartheid regime imposed by Israel, as called for by the UN Special Rapporteurs and Israeli and international human rights organisations;
- advocate for the universal recognition and implementation of the right of refugees to return, the rights to liberty, equality, security and self-determination – these rights belong to all people, regardless of their ethnic or religious background;
- demand that all representatives of the state of Israel respect international law and the obligations arising therefrom.
Never again are the two words that demand action now. We all deserve peace and security – including Palestinians.