Category Archives: In the media

Ship to Gaza won in court — Israel must return S/V Estelle

estelle

From an August 31 Press Release:

On August 31 an Israeli court issued a verdict in the case by Ship to Gaza Sweden against the Israeli government, regarding the rights to S/V Estelle. The verdict is all in favour of Ship to Gaza's complaint.

Gaza blockade – no signs of loosening

Nearly a week after a ceasefire agreement that was believed to include the partially lifting of the blockade on Gaza, no restrictions have been eased, say humanitarians and border guards.

NGOs are eager to increase aid to the Palestinian region after a 50-day Israeli bombing campaign left over 2,000 dead, thousands wounded and much of the enclave’s infrastructure in ruins, but access rules continue to present huge challenges.

While the exact terms of the ceasefire agreement, reached last week between Israel and various Palestinian factions, have not been released, it was widely reported that Tel Aviv committed to easing its border sanctions in exchange for a cessation of hostilities, while Egypt, too, was expected to ease its blockade.

Radio Interview with Sandra Ruch

Facebook-20140907-071201

Sandra Ruch, with Gaza's Ark and VOW Peace, discusses the new Freedom Flotilla, and the fate of Gaza's Ark, reflecting the ups and downs of Palestine solidarity activism.

 

On-Line Listening
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12904176

Download MP3:
http://tinyurl.com/NewFreedomFlotilla

 

Norway and Egypt to host donor conference for Gaza

'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.   

Norway: Gaza reconstruction aid conditioned on lifting of blockade

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.

AFP

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. 

Following Israel’s Assault on Gaza, ‘Freedom Flotilla’ to Sail Against Siege

"It is the responsibility of civil society worldwide to sail to Gaza."

by Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams

Following Israel's latest military assault on Gaza, civil society groups from around the world say they are moving forward with plans to break the blockade on this besieged strip by sailing a "freedom flotilla" into Gaza Port.

At a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey this week, the international Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) and numerous other groups came to the conclusion that "it is the responsibility of civil society worldwide to sail to Gaza," according to a press statement. They committed to making the voyage during the year 2014, which has been coined by the United Nations as the "International Year of Solidarity With the Palestinian People.

While the group did not publicly disclose a launch location or date, they announced that they expect participation from civil society organizations across the globe — from Greece to South Africa to Jordan to Malaysia—as a gesture against "the complicity of world governments" in the blockade on Gaza.

"Calls to end the blockade of Gaza need to move from words to actions," said Ann Ighe, chairperson of Ship to Gaza and member of the FFC. "We invite all interested citizens worldwide to participate in this initiative in any way you can."

Israel's month-long military assault on Gaza, currently stalled by a tenuous ceasefire, has left at least 1,939 Palestinians dead, 9,886 wounded, over 200,000 displaced, and more than 10,000 Palestinian housing units destroyed or severely damaged. United Nations officialsestimate that at least three-fourths of Palestinians killed in Gaza are civilians and one third are children.

The freedom flotilla Gaza's Ark, which Palestinians planned to sail from the Gaza Port to break the siege, was one of the many civilian targets hit by Israeli air strikes in July. The shelling, which destroyed the boat, followed a previous attack that partially sunk the boat in April. David Heap, Canada-based spokesperson for Gaza's Ark, told Common Dreams that Palestinian organizers on the ground plan to continue the campaign "once they are able to concentrate on something other than surviving another day."

The 1.7 million people in Gaza — one of the most densely populated areas on earth—were already living under a U.S.-backed military and economic siege, which has escalated since 2007, cutting off residents from public goods including clean water and medical supplies.

"We are sailing against the sea blockade because there is no possibility of a peaceful future without freedom of movement for Palestinians," said Heap.

Previous attempts to sail against the siege have been met with violent attacks, including a 2010 Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara ship sailing from Turkey that killed nine people and injured dozens, sparking global condemnation.

"We urge all governments to defend Human Rights and the right of the Palestinian people to freedom of movement, to facilitate the sailing of our ships to Gaza," said Ehab Lotayef of the FFC. "It is their responsibility."


[GA note: There were eight Turks and one American murdered on board the Mavi, and another Turkish passenger who died four years later]

 

 

New aid flotilla to sail for Gaza by year-end, say activists

FFC meet in Istanbul-2014By AFP | AFP – Tue, Aug 12, 2014

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.

Working Paper: Gaza Seaport, A Windowpane to the World

SeaPortGeneva-Gaza

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”.

Israel-Gaza conflict: Turkish campaign group to challenge Gaza blockade by sending flotilla full of aid for Palestinians

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-turkish-campaign-group-to-challenge-gaza-blockade-by-sending-flotilla-full-of-aid-for-palestinians-9661748.html

A pro-Palestinian campaign group in Turkey is to send aid on ships bound for Gaza, four years after its last attempt to break the Israeli blockade ended in a bloody raid and the deaths of 10 activists.

In a statement issued after a meeting in Istanbul at the weekend, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation group said it had formed a multi-national coalition designed to "challenge the Israeli blockade".

Gaza blockade must end

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

Palestinians search for victims of an Israeli attack

‘There is no humane or legal justification for how the Israeli Defence Force is conducting this war, pulverising with bombs, missiles and artillery large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools and hospitals.’ Photograph: UPI /Landov / Barcroft Media

Israelis and Palestinians are still burying loved ones killed during Gaza’s third war in six years. Since 8 July, more than 1,800 Palestinian and 65 Israeli lives have been sacrificed. Many in the world are heart-broken in the powerless certainty that and despite the latest ceasefire, it seems that more willcould die yet; that more are being killed every hour.This tragedy results from the deliberate obstruction of a promising move towards peace, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April.