[Vredeslijst] Call from Gaza for global response to killings on the Freedom Flotilla

Heleen Ransijn laudate op xs4all.nl
Ma mei 31 11:59:10 CEST 2010

Call from Gaza for global response to killings on the Freedom Flotilla

Gaza, Occupied Palestinian Territories, 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 Israelís
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 Unionís 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 who went on the Flotilla, 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 Studentsí 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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