LEGAL ACTION AGAINST AGREXCO
AGAINST THE CRIME OF COLONISATION
(Created by law n°2010-930 of August 9 2010)
FRENCH ORGANISATIONS BRING A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE ISRAELI COMPANY CARMEL-AGREXCO PRESS CONFERENCE
Wednesday September 15th
at the headquarters of the Confédération Paysanne
104 rue Robespierre – 93170 Bagnolet (FRANCE), M° Gallieni
The Confédération Paysanne, UJFP (Union of French Jews for Peace), The Cimade, ISM France (International Solidarity Movement), CCIPPP (International Civil Campaign for the Protection of the Palestinian People) and AURDIP (Association Faculty members for the Respect of International Law in Palestine), members of the Coalition Against Agrexco (France), are bringing a civil lawsuit against Carmel-Agrexco before the Court of Marseilles. It is in Marseilles that the products – particularly flowers, fruits and vegetables – are unloaded.
The Israeli policy is based on a long-term violation of International law.
Israel appropriates lands that do not belong to it and then drives out Palestinians in order to install its own population. This systematic colonisation policy is dependant upon the economic exploitation of these territories, the latter being the condition for its viability. Thus, colonisation and economic exploitation of the territories constitute an indivisible system.
Carmel-Agrexco is the main instrument of agricultural colonisation.
First, because this company is directly linked to the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, which owns 50% of the company and determines its policy, but also because it is the main exporter of products originating in the settlements, notably those of the Jordan Valley, where 7.000 settlers have taken control of 95% of the land and control 98% of it’s water resources.
The above-mentioned French organisations intend to act on two topics:
Fundamental humanitarian law, in that this concerns a serious violation of Palestinian rights ;
Business law, since these exports, which are the fruits of exploitation of a crime, unfairly compete with French and European farmers’ produce.
The classical components of law analysis, ratified by the International Court of Justice in the case of the Wall (July 9th, 2004), have been strengthened by two major judicial references which came into action during 2010:
The BRITA decision (EUJC, February 25th, 2010). According to the Court, the only opposable border is that of 1949 and Israel has no right to deliver certificates of origin concerning products made in the Palestinian territories.
The August 9th, 2010 Law, which transposed the status of the International Penal Court into French law. From now on, a definition of the crime of colonisation exists in the French Penal Code.
A Civil Procedure with summary judgment.
The organisations are bringing a civil lawsuit in order to obtain the communication of those custom documents which authorize AGREXCO exports, and to have them tested by maritime law experts to verify if these certificates make it possible to verify their origin. In agreement with the BRITA decision, the certificates must demonstrate unequivocally that the produce exported by Agrexco is made uniquely within the 1948 borders.
Upon analysis of these documents, the member organisations of the Coalition Against Agrexco will pursue the procedure to impose the enforcement of the BRITA decision and a halt to illegal exports.
The date of the hearing, which will take place in October, will be specified at the press conference.