The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) met in Istanbul in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza. We have watched atrocities being committed against an already besieged population. In the two day meeting (August 10th and 11th), the FFC concluded that it is the responsibility of civil society worldwide to sail to Gaza and challenge the Israeli blockade, the source of most problems facing the Palestinian population of Gaza.
We plan to sail to Gaza during 2014, the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
'The Governments of Egypt and Norway, supported by President Mahmoud Abbas, have decided to co-host a conference on Palestine with a focus on the reconstruction of Gaza. The invitations to the conference, to be held in Cairo, will be duly extended once an agreement on a sustainable ceasefire has been reached as a result of the ongoing talks in Cairo,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
'The people of Gaza are suffering, and there is an urgent need for emergency relief. The UN and NGOs have already begun working on this, with the support of Norway, among others. The basic infrastructure must be repaired so that the people have access to electricity, water and sanitation,' said Mr Brende.
Oslo says funds will be given to PA President Abbas, and not to Hamas, and notes international donors conference to take place only after lasting ceasefire reached.
Published: 08.18.14, 10:23 / http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4559789,00.html
Norway has set conditions to the delivery of aid money to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after Operation Protective Edge, namely that the Israeli blockade on the Palestinian enclave is lifted, Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said Monday.
"It is the responsibility of civil society worldwide to sail to Gaza."
by Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams
A coalition of activists said on Tuesday they would send a flotilla of ships to break Israel's siege of Gaza by the end of 2014, fours years after a similar campaign ended in a deadly raid by Israeli commandos.
"We plan to send the flotilla during 2014," the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, which includes activists from at least 10 countries, said in Istanbul.
The statement was made at a joint conference hosted by Turkish relief agency Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), which sponsored the first flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza that was raided by Israeli commandos in 2010.
Thousands of Palestinians are struck in miserable limbo unable to leave or easily enter the Gaza Strip, for study abroad, medical care, work or family visits for the past 7 years. Once again, siege and blockade are causing severe shortages of essential supplies from building materials to medicines in Gaza and generating a sense of despair.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, has repeatedly condemned Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, calling it "a direct contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law”.
Media Advisory: The Freedom Flotilla Coalition to sail to Gaza again. Challenging the Israeli blockade
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has met in Istanbul, in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza. In the meeting of representatives from 12 countries which lasted for two days, August 10th and 11th, the FFC affirmed that, as most governments are complicit, the responsibility falls on civil society to challenge the Israeli blockade on Gaza.
The conclusion of our meeting will be presented at the press conference.
Israel-Gaza conflict: Turkish campaign group to challenge Gaza blockade by sending flotilla full of aid for Palestinians
The UN should mandate an end to the siege of Gaza as a first step towards a settlement
Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson
The Guardian, Tuesday 5 August 2014
Negotiators are meeting in Cairo during the 72-hour Gaza ceasefire, trying to make an agreement for a lasting ceasefire. Palestinians are demanding that a long-term ceasefire permanently end the Israeli-Egyptian economic blockade on 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. This is a crucial moment for opponents of the blockade around the world to raise our voices.
Starting at 12 noon eastern US time (11 AM Central, 9 AM Pacific, 6pm CET), we urge you to participate in our daily 15 minute Twitter storm to push for the Cairo talks to conclude with an agreement to end the blockade of Gaza. Go to this page for instructions and sample tweets:
Even if you can’t join the Twitter storm at 12pm ET – maybe you it will be 2AM where you are! – we urge you to post tweets on ending the Gaza blockade with the hashtag #EndGazaBlockadeInCairo whenever you can, in whatever languages you can. We want to raise the profile of the Cairo talks, so that everyone in the world who opposes the blockade understands that the fate of the blockade is being negotiated right now, and does what they can to push political leaders to use their influence to insure that ending the blockade is part of the Cairo agreement.
Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has conceded, “Palestinians can’t have a cease-fire in which they think the status quo is going to stay." Scott Anderson, deputy director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), recently said: “Unless there is material change to the status quo, you’re just resetting the clock for another cycle of violence.”
That’s why, together with our partners in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, we are organizing a daily, 15 minute Twitter storm at 12 noon ET until the Cairo talks conclude with an agreement that ends the blockade. We want to make sure that “end the blockade” is at the top of the international agenda for the talks.
Participate in our daily twitter storm at noon ET every day until the Cairo talks conclude with an agreement to end the blockade. Instructions and sample tweets are here:
Even if you don't use Twitter, you can help by spreading this message by e-mail and by sharing the link above on other media with users who can support these efforts.Thank you for all you do to push for freedom of commerce and movement for Palestinians in Gaza,
In continued solidarity,
Gaza's Ark Steering Committee