ROME, September 7, 2016 (WAFA) – European trade s, water, human rights and environmental groups have called on the European Commission (EC) to withdraw patronage from Watec, the Israeli water conference planned to be held for the first time in Europe in September, a press release said on Wednesday.
It said some 40 organizations wrote a letter to the EC urging it to withdraw patronage of the Israeli conference because it violates international law.
“We, the undersigned European trade s, human rights and right to water organizations, are alarmed by the European Commission’s sponsorship of an event that includes the participation of companies involved in and facilitating violations of international law,” said the letter.
“The EC’s patronage of Watec comes at a time when Israel is cutting off water to Palestinian communities, leaving tens of thousands without access to water during the hottest time of the year,” said the letter
The 3-day conference, scheduled to be held in Venice, Italy on September 21, includes the participation of companies that operate in the occupied Palestinian territories in clear violation of international law, according to the letter.
“By granting patronage to events sponsored by and involving companies and institutions operating in Israeli settlements, the EC is at odds with the European Union‘s own official position on settlements. Even worse, it legitimates and encourages illegal activities that trample fundamental rights such as access to water, thereby reinforcing Israel’s impunity,” said the signatories to the letter.
The letter concluded saying: “As European citizens, we urge the European Commission to withdraw its patronage of Watec 2016. We also call on the Commission as well as all European institutions to fulfill their legal obligation to put an end to all forms of support and assistance for Israeli violations of international law and Palestinian rights.”