Sir: As members of the three faiths principally represented in the Holy Land, we share the horror felt throughout the civilised world at the terrorist acts and their retaliatory consequences that have been occurring in Israel/ Palestine, and feel profound sympathy with the innocent victims of such attacks. But we are equally dismayed by the apparent acquiescence of the western world in the oppression and dispossession which has been inflicted on the Palestinian people through a system which in the judgement of first- hand observers resembles apartheid by virtue of the indignities inflicted on its victims.
The military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has constantly and openly violated the provisions of the Geneva convention applying to occupied territories: land has been confiscated, civilian houses demolished, orchards and vineyards uprooted, water and electricity supplies arbitrarily interrupted (with a ration of water only one fifth of that provided for Israeli settlers), settlements built and extended on illegally occupied land, Palestinians subjected to road blocks, identity checks and searches from which Israelis are immune, punishments imposed collectively, whole communities placed virtually under siege.
In response, there is violent resistance, which remains the only means by which those subject to this regime feel that they can hope to look forward to any change for the better. …