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Activists ask international organisation to stop 'genocide' in Gaza

By Rana Husseini - Nov 20,2023 - Last updated at Nov 20,2023

AMMAN — Some 2000 activists on Monday delivered a petition to international organisations and UN agencies that are operating in the Kingdom, demanding urgent action against the potential genocide in Gaza.

“We divided ourselves into groups and hand-delivered petitions that addressed the head of the international organisations operating in the Kingdom to ensure that our voices are heard,” said activist Rania Sabbah.

She told The Jordan Times that representatives from the organisations, including some directors, “personally received us while others sent their deputies or employees to receive the petition”.

The international organisations, according to Sabbah, included the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator & Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan, UNICEF, UN OCHA Office, Plan International, Danish Refugee Council, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Save the Children, Médecins Sans Frontieres, International Committee of the Red Cross and Mercy Corps. 

Part of the mandate of these organisations is to lobby governments to protect the people they serve, according to Sabbah. 

“The urgency of their response does not align with the severity of the situation in Gaza,” Sabbah stressed. 

The petition, titled "Urgent Appeal: Urging INGOs and UN Agencies to Acknowledge the Gaza Genocide", calls for immediate and decisive action in the face of potential genocide perpetrated by Israeli forces, according to a press release by the organisers of the petition.

It explicitly calls for a clear condemnation of Israel's actions and an urgent ceasefire, with the activists believing that using the term "genocide" explicitly will exert significant pressure on Western governments to intervene, according to the statement.

The petition demands INGOs and UN Agencies to express concern about a potential genocide in Gaza based on reports by experts and call for an urgent ceasefire, and the delivery of sufficient aid, especially to Gaza's northern districts. 

The petition includes evidence presented by experts like the former director in the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Craig Mokhiber and UN Special Rapporteurs, who have raised concerns about crimes against humanity, Sabbah explained. 

Sabbah said the petition is open for anyone who wants to sign in Jordan and abroad.

She also added that during their visits to the international organisation and UN agencies, “our teams read a statement to express our protest and objection of what is going on in Gaza”.

Part of the statement read: “I stand before you today as a voice for global citizens who are united in their urgency for action in the face of an alarming crisis. The relentless Israeli onslaught on Gaza demands not just attention, but immediate, resolute action.” 

Eminent human rights and genocide experts have sounded the alarm of a potential genocide, yet the response from international bodies has been hesitant, and the international community remains disturbingly silent, according to the statement. 

Our demand is explicit and time-sensitive: we insist that your organisation openly acknowledges the imminent risk of genocide by citing expert reports in their call for an immediate ceasefire, said the statement. 

Declare it boldly and unequivocally: "We express deep concern that the Israeli war on Gaza may reach the threshold of genocide, as articulated by the analysis of independent UN Special Rapporteurs and experts in the field of genocide,” according to the statement. 

This is not a time for hesitation or diplomatic niceties; it is a time for bold, unwavering action. The strategic measure of openly acknowledging the looming catastrophe of genocide is not just necessary—it is a moral imperative that demands an immediate response, the statement added. 

Let your organisation be a beacon of courage and justice in these dark times, the statement concluded.


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