Palestinians call for Gaza flotilla support

June 18, 2011
A farewell for the previous Freedom Flotilla to Gaza
A farewell for the previous Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, which was attacked by Israeli commandos in May last year.

More than 40 Palestinian civil society organisations released a statement on June 12 calling for international support for the Freedom Flotilla 2, which aims to break the siege of Gaza.

The first freedom flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza was violently attacked in May, 2010. Israeli commandoes killed nine Turkish volunteers aboard the Mavi Marmara, the flotilla’s lead ship.

Israeli troops boarded the ship at night and used live ammunition against unarmed activists. The attack occurred in international waters in violation of international law.

An even larger flotilla bringing aid, involving about 1500 activists from more than 50 countries, is set to sail to Gaza in late June. Israel has threatened to use snipers against the flotilla. The US and Israel are pressuring governments around the Mediterranean to stop the ships' departure plans.

See also:
Australians joining Gaza freedom flotilla fairwelled

The statement from Palestinian groups calling for international support is published below. It is reprinted from -- where a full list of signatures can be found.

* * *

We, the Palestinians of the besieged Gaza Strip, on this day, five years after closures began on Gaza, are saying enough inaction, enough discussion, enough waiting — the full siege on the Gaza Strip must end.

Shortly after the democratic election in 2006, supervised by people and bodies from the international community, nations formerly supporting aid and cultural organisations in Gaza withdrew their support.

In mid-2007, our borders, controlled by Israel and Egypt, fully closed, locking Palestinians within and preventing imports and exports from crossing our borders.

From December 27, 2008, to January 18, 2009, Israel waged an all-out slaughter on Gaza, killing more than 1500 Palestinians, most were innocent civilians and among them over 430 children. They destroyed thousands of homes, businesses, factories and buildings, including universities, schools, hospitals and medical care facilities; and damaged vast tracts of our water and sanitation system.

Two-and-a-half years after the cessation of Israel’s attacks, almost no homes and few buildings have been rebuilt. Our sanitation and sewerage system situation is more dire than ever.

Raw waste continues to be pumped into our sea for want of proper treatment facilities, polluting our water and the fish along the coast.

Then fishermen, banned from entering the 20 nautical miles of sea accorded to Palestinians under the Oslo Accords, are forced to harvest these poisoned fish.

Our farmers continue to be shot at, maimed and killed by Israeli soldiers along our border, prevented from working, growing and harvesting their land, denying us a rich supply of produce and vitamins.

Nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition continue to rise, affecting our children's growth and their ability to study.

Our economy is shut down by lack of functioning factories and electricity. Our students hold little to no prospects of travel for study abroad, even when placements and scholarships have been secured, due to the Israeli control of the Erez crossing and the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing being closed more often than opened.

Our sick suffer for want of necessary medications and medical supplies and equipment.

Since 2005, more than 170 Palestinian organisations have called for boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to comply with international law. Since 2005, Palestinians have weekly met in villages in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem to protest Israel’s occupation policies.

Creative civilian efforts, such as the Free Gaza boats that broke the siege five times, the Gaza Freedom March, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and the many land convoys, must never stop their siege-breaking, highlighting the inhumanity of keeping 1.5 million Gazans in an open-air prison.

On December 2, 22 international organizations — including Amnesty, Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid and Medical Aid for Palestinians — produced the report “Dashed Hopes: Continuation of the Gaza Blockade”. It called for international action to force Israel to unconditionally lift the blockade. Human Rights Watch published a comprehensive report “Separate and Unequal” that denounced Israeli policies as “apartheid”, echoing similar sentiments by South African anti-apartheid activists.

The recently announced opening of the Rafah crossing has yet to be fully enacted. Even when open, it will mean little with respect to the imports and exports of goods to and from Gaza and will not improve the plight of fishermen and farmers or Gaza's high unemployment and poverty rates.

We request that the citizens of the world oppose this deadly, medieval blockade. The failure of the United Nations and its numerous organizations to condemn such crimes proves their complicity.

Only civil society is able to mobilise to demand the application of international law and put an end to Israel’s impunity.

The intervention of civil society was effective in the late 1980s against the apartheid regime of South Africa. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have not only described Israel's oppressive and violent control of Palestinians as apartheid, they have also joined this call for the world's civil society to intervene again.

We call on civil society organisations worldwide to intensify the anti-Israel sanctions campaign to compel Israel to end its aggression.

We call on the nations and citizens of the world participating in the Freedom Flotilla 2 to continue their plans to sail to Gaza where they will be welcomed by Palestinians.

The civil society initiatives of the freedom flotillas are about taking a stance of justice and solidarity with besieged Palestinians when your governments will not.

We call on the flotilla movement to grow and continue to sail until the siege of Gaza is entirely lifted and until the Palestinians of Gaza are granted the basic human rights and freedom of movement citizens around the world enjoy.


Sun is rising for PALESTINE ieaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!
what is shockingly suprising or maybe not, how the national socity standby for any action that israel seems that they look at only what they wanna see i mean what israel want to show them. "evading humanity" least according to the Red Cross: If there are problems with the basic functions of the economy perhaps you might blame the corrupt, backward and violent regime running the place (i.e. Hamas). They seem to have no trouble importing missiles and other armaments, hard to believe they can't get food and medicine in. Possibly they just have their priorities wrong?
not deliver aid to the starving Nuba in Sudan.? To Syrians being slaughtered,their crops burnt and children tortured to death? To Kurdistan occupied for ceturies? To Indonesian occupied New Guinea? Dont forget to go to the luxury shopping mall in Gaza,the fancy restaurants,the waterslide park or the well stocked suoermarkets. " Mathilde Redmatn, deputy director of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip, said that there "is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza," adding: "If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach."
"If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach." Yeah but the beaches are infested with feral western leftists and the shopping malls still have Seacret outlets that haven't yet had their staff yelled at. You just don't get that in Darfur, Zimbabwe or Syria. Those places are downright dangerous, and without the comforts of home - let alone a regime whose security forces actually give a @^*& what happens to foreign activists trying to illegally enter an area of conflict. Strangely (or not really), they are also without the same level of media interest. The chances of anyone getting hurt and making headlines are about zero this time. The Israelis will probably douse them in a gentle bubble bath and they will be filmed crying that "its not organic" or something similarly pathetic.
you got boody joking the probleam is that iseral are punshing palisans for wanting thear fredoom wate isearl doing is vlishion of intearnashnioal law denning tham rights to food watear and midiceal spleys basic seanshioan in 2006 the pepole of plastean demroctity elicead hummeas becuse sick of fateat crupshion thay wear more isterd doing deals with Isearl than fixing probleams that pealisan pepole facsing daley thean west refusead to reconising hamas is govmeant of plistean with west mouting a coup saw fatear restead in west bank hamas got gazsa strip divead concer stdigy west wound youse iseral blokead on gazsa stoping basics throug by rode to pastean pepole had resueat diging tuneals to Eygpt why the fotlears are so esntuel braking imbago viea sea to devearing aide plisean the plobleams a ante demroictc sate dening rights to eanney one how is palistean or arabic non jew by sam bullock

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.