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CALL FROM GAZA FOR GLOBAL RESPONSE TO KILLINGS ON THE FREEDOM FLOTILLA PDF Print E-mail
May 31, 2010 at 12:50 PM
PRESS RELEASE
GAZA, PALESTINE
31.MAY.2010
 
We Gaza based Palestinian Civil Society Organizations and International
activists call on the international community and civil society to pressure
their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings in Israel’s
attacks against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla sailing for Gaza, and begin a global
response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea
and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.  
 
We salute the courage of all those who have organized this aid intervention and
demand a safe passage through to Gaza for the 750 people of conscience from 40
different countries including 35 international politicians intent on breaking
the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and
friends who  have lost loved ones in the attack.
 
By sailing directly to Gaza , outside of Israeli waters, with cargo banned
illegally by Israel , such as the 10,000 tonnes of badly needed concrete, toys,
workbooks, chocolate, pasta and substantial medical supplies, the flotilla is
exercising international law and upholding article 33 of the Geneva Convention
which clearly  states that collective punishment is a crime against humanity.
The hardships of Israel 's closure of Gaza have been well documented by all
human rights groups operating, most recently by Amnesty International in their
Annual Human Rights Report concluding that the siege has "deepened the ongoing
humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and
food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on
humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli
officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of
collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law."
 The United Nations continuously states that only a fraction of the required
aid is entering the Strip due to what it calls ‘the medieval siege’, with
John Ging the Director of UNRWA in Gaza specifically expressing the need for
the Flotilla to enter Gaza . The European Union’s new foreign affairs
minister Catherine Ashton has just reiterated its call for, “an immediate,
sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian
aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza .”
 
The people of Gaza are not dependent people, but self sufficient people doing
what they can to retain some dignity in life in the wake of this colossal
man-made devastation that deprives so many of a basic start in life or minimal
aspirations for the future.
 
We, from Gaza , call on you to demonstrate and support the courageous men and
women on the Flotilla and join the, many now murdered on a humanitarian aid
mission. We insist on severance of diplomatic ties with Israel , trials for war
crimes and the International protection of the civilians of Gaza . We call on
you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign
of a country proving again to be so violent and yet so unchallenged. Join the
growing critical mass around the world with a commitment to the day when
Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as any other people, when the
siege is lifted, the occupation is over and the 6 million Palestinian refugees
are finally granted justice.
 
Press Contacts:
Dr Haidar Eid: One Democratic Sate Group and University Teachers' Association
Dr Mona El Farra: Middle East Children's Alliance , Gaza 00.972(0)598.868.222
Adie Mormech: International Solidarity Movement 00.972(0)597.717.696
Max Ajl: Gaza Freedom March 00.972(0)597.750.798
 
Signatory Organisations:
The One Democratic State Group
University Teachers Association
Arab Cultural Forum
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
Association of Al-Quds Bank for Culture and Info
Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements
International Solidarity Movement
Palestinian Network of Non-Governmental Organisations
Palestinian Women Committees
Progressive Students Union
Medical Relief Society
The General Society for Rehabilitation
Gaza Community Mental Health Program
General Union of Palestinian Women
Afaq Jadeeda Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Deir Al-Balah Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Maghazi Cultural Centre for Children
Al-Sahel Centre for Women and Youth
Ghassan Kanfani Kindergartens
Rachel Corrie Centre, Rafah
Rafah Olympia City Sisters
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
Al Awda Hospital, Jabaliya Camp
Ajyal Association, Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Syndicates
Al Karmel Centre, Nuseirat
Local Inititiative, Beit Hanoun
Union of Health Work Committees
Red Crescent Society Gaza Strip
Beit Lahiya Cultural Centre
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
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Independent Jewish Voices Condemns Israel's Gaza Massacre

December 28, 2008

The Israeli military has unleashed its most vicious air assault against the people of Gaza in decades, killing over 280 Gazans and wounding over 700. Despite claims by the Israeli leadership that they are trying to avoid civilians the attacks have been concentrated on Gaza City and the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah. Israeli television reports that Israeli troops are massing on the border "in preparation for a supplementary ground offensive".

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) condemns this murderous escalation of violence by the Israeli government. Diana Ralph, IJV Coordinator calls this assault "completely disproportionate to the unsupportable firing of Qassam rockets by Hamas fighters which killed one Israeli. It's important to put this into the context of the deadly siege of Gaza by the Israeli forces, which continued in violation of the terms of the recent six month truce between Israel and Gaza. In the ethics of violent conflicts, it is the responsibility of the force wielding power - the Israeli government in this case - to create the conditions for a just peace."

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