29.08.2006 – Peace Boat Came to Istanbul

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The Global Peace and Justice Coalition Welcame the Peace Boat From Japan in İstanbul

On 29th of August, The Global Peace and Justice Coalition (Turkey) and the Peace Boat coming from Japan made a press conference together in İstanbul.

The spokesman of the Global Peace and Justice Coalition, Mehmet Ali Alabora said : “if AKP goverment really wants to do something for peace, they must send doctors, not troops. We call all the peace activists to Ankara on the day that the Turkısh Parliament is gathered in order to negotiate giving permission to Turkish government to send troops to Lebanon”

Prof Takahash Kazuo spoke in the name of 1000 activists of Peace Boat, and he told; “the number of people died in Lebanon is the same with the number of people in the Peace Boat. All guns must become silent and all wars must stop. The peace activists from Turkey and Japan should struggle together for the domination of peace in the world and share each other’s experiences.

Peace Boat and Turkish NGO Joint Statement re Lebanon

Peace Boat Draft – August 25

Peace Boat has united with Turkish NGOs to voice the need for the ceasefire declared by the UN Security Council (Resolution 1701) to be upheld by both sides of the conflict, for those responsible for the conflict to be held accountable by international law, and for urgent humanitarian aid for the victims to be allowed to be carried out immediately without hindrance.

During the Israeli attacks between July 12 and August 14, an estimated 1,184 Lebanese – mostly civilians – were killed. A further 970,000 Lebanese, around 25% of the population, were displaced. Israel’s attacks caused the destruction of thousands of homes, as well as civilian infrastructure such as bridges, roads and water treatment plants that will take years and cost billions of dollars to reconstruct. Attacks on the Jiyyeh power utility south of Beirut also led to a serious oil slick, resulting in an environmental disaster with critical impact on both the Lebanese peoples’ livelihoods and the natural habitat. In accordance with other human rights groups, we believe that these attacks were a deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure, constituting war crimes in violation of international law. Israel’s attacks also prevented aid workers from reaching the affected areas, rendering the delivery of urgent humanitarian aid impossible.

Although the ceasefire has come into effect, it is still fragile. Thousands of civilians remain displaced and in urgent need of aid. Furthermore, Lebanon now faces the emergency situation caused by the danger of unexploded Israeli cluster bombs. A clear violation of the Geneva Convention, these bombs continue to kill Lebanese civilians, including children and rescue workers, even after the declaration of the ceasefire. Numerous breaches of the ceasefire have also been recorded, including Israeli air violations as recently as August 22 and clashes between Hezbollah and the IDF.

We insist that:

• The ceasefire be unconditionally observed by both sides

• The international community must ensure that urgent humanitarian aid can be carried out without hindrance, and that efforts are made to reconstruct the destroyed Lebanese civilian infrastructure and livelihoods. This must include a demining of the cluster bombs remaining from Israel’s shelling attacks, which continue to endanger lives.

• Those responsible must be held accountable under international law

• Israel follows UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. The Israeli occupation of Palestine is at the roots of the conflict in the Middle East, thuswe strongly appeal for Israel to obey these resolutions and end the occupation.

We convey our strongest wishes for a comprehensive and just peace for the entire Middle East region.

We as Global Peace and Justice Coalition of Turkey urge our government about sending troops to Lebanon. We believe that we should not send troops to Lebanon. We should send food, aid, medicine, basic needs of those who were affected from war.

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