Accuses Israel of perpetrating atrocities against Palestinians
Formed in 1998, the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network (PENGON) describes itself as "a coordinating body between the different Palestinian NGOs working in the field of environment[alism]." PENGON’s 21 member organizations -- among which are the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, and LAW -- focus their efforts on the following domains: developing and sustaining natural resources; environmental awareness; protecting wildlife; preventing desertification; combating environmental pollution; developing and maintaining archeological sites; eco- and environmental tourism; and developing alternative and renewable energy uses.
In PENGON’s view, Palestinian environmental problems are largely "due to violent Israeli occupation practices on the ground, including the confiscation of land, illegal settlement activities, the uprooting of trees, the destruction of Palestinian agricultural land, the use of Palestinian occupied lands by Israel as dumping ground for poisonous industrial waste, and the exhausting of water resources and the polluting of the water ground reservoirs by settlements."
PENGON actively promotes the false notion that massive Israeli "massacres" of Palestinians took place in Jenin in April 2002. One PENGON publication about this topic -- titled "Jenin Refugee Camp Massacre: The Atrocities Must Be Revealed" -- claims that it "was rare to find anyone … who lost only one family member. Most lost several loved ones, if not their entire families. … Witnesses recounted how people were buried alive by the soldiers in graves and holes dug in the ground, rows of injured people were laid flat on the ground and were then crushed to death by a tank that drove over their bodies, men were tied and made to face the wall and killed, execution style." PENGON ignores the fact that Israel’s Jenin incursion was in response to a massive wave of Palestinian terrorist activity that had originated there. The organization has further failed to acknowledge that the "massacre" accusations aimed at Israel have been proven to be false. The Palestinian Authority itself has placed the official death toll from the Jenin battle at 56, of whom 48 were armed combatants.
PENGON administers an Apartheid Wall Campaign designed to discredit and disrupt Israel’s construction of an anti-terrorism barrier in the West Bank. The campaign calls for “the immediate cessation of the building of the Wall”; “the dismantling of all parts of the Wall and its related zones already built”; “the return of lands confiscated for the path of the Wall”; and “the compensation of damages and lost income due to the destruction of land and property.” According to PENGON, “[T]he Wall is an integral and large scale part of Israel’s plans to confiscate and annex Palestinian lands, isolate Palestinian communities, and deny any prospects for survival in their villages and homes. The Wall is therefore not only the negation of Palestinian national aspirations and right to self-determination, but also a tool in the creeping ‘transfer’ of the population and the realization of the Zionist/Israeli expansionist plans.”
In July 2006, when Israel was engaged in a military conflict against Gaza-based Hamas militants who were firing rockets into Israel, PENGON drew up a petition titled “Stop Israel’s Siege and Attacks on Gaza; Stop the Environmental and Humanitarian Disaster.” The petition read, in part: “The economy of Gaza is destroyed for years to come. … The aim of the Occupation is clear to all that want to see: breaking Palestinian determination to resist within the Bantustans in Gaza or the West Bank and weakening opposition to the Israeli apartheid system faced on a daily basis.”
Parts of thisprofile are adapted, with permission, from NGO Monitor.
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