Archive for the 'Blockade' Category

Yasmin AbuShamla: Please open the borders

Yasmin AbuShamla, an unemployed psychology graduate from Gaza’s Middle area, asks for nothing more than open borders, pinning her hopes on the Women’s Boat to Gaza as they are able to travel and influence people, while she cannot.

Hala AlAshi speaks at press conference at Al Mina seaport, Gaza

At a press conference held on Tuesday at Al Mina seaport in Gaza City Hala AlAshi, a spokesperson for the National Committee for Breaking the Siege, called for more international action as she welcomed the initiative of the Women’s Boat to Gaza.

Samar sings against the Gaza siege

Shimaa prays for a safe trip for the Women’s Boat to Gaza

Zeinab wants to travel – in her own country

Ismira welcomes the Women’s Boat to Gaza

Ismira would also welcome the chance to sail on her own sea

Ruba Thabet asks international women to break the siege of Gaza

Women from Gaza are sending messages to the women on the Women’s Boat for Gaza.

Here is the first, from Ruba Thabet, a final year university student in Gaza.

Israel ordered by own Supreme Court to pay court costs, release ‘Estelle’ to owners, ‘Ship to Gaza’

Canadian Boat to Gaza
Press Release


In a ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Israel, under the presidency of Miriam Naor, the state of Israel is ordered to immediately release and return the vessel ‘Estelle’ to its owners, the Swedish human rights organisation Ship to Gaza. The ship was boarded and seized by IOF in the fall of 2012 during an attempt to break the inhumane blockade of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

The Finnish flagged S/V Estelle departed from Sweden in early summer of 2012. It visited ports in the Baltic, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean before it was attacked by Israeli military, 30 naval miles outside the coast of Gaza.

The Supreme Court ruled that the state should have immediately asked the court for the confiscation of the ship and shouldn’t have waited for ten months. The state did not conduct negotiations with the owner of the ship, did not respond to appeals by the owners, and did not inform the owners about its intentions.

According to the ruling, the state of Israel is required to pay the court costs of Ship to Gaza in the amount of 40,000 NIS (approx 10500 USD).

Ship to Gaza will bring claims against the state of Israel via their Israeli lawyers.

Together with its partners in the Freedom Flotilla, Ship to Gaza is right now planning a new action to break and abolish the devastating blockade of Gaza: Women´s Boat to Gaza will set sail in the middle of September.

New Zealand Member of Parliament to join Women’s Peace Flotilla to Gaza

Marama Davidson, MP
Press Release

Photo: Maori Television

Photo: Maori Television

Green Party MP Marama Davidson will be joining a women’s peace boat in late September which will highlight the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the Green Party said today.

Israel has blockaded the Gaza strip by land, sea, and air since 2006, resulting in plummeting living standards and health services, high unemployment, and severe food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

“I am participating in the Women’s Boats to Gaza flotilla to highlight the crucial role of women in keeping their communities afloat, particularly in post-conflict situations,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“The people of Gaza are still living with the terrible impact of the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, which resulted in the death of 2,300 civilians and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of homes, schools and hospitals.

“As an indigenous woman myself, I want to stand alongside the women of Gaza and to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.

“Women around the world bear a disproportionate burden in caring for people and keeping communities together in times of hardship, and the women of Palestine are no different. Women’s role in navigating oppression and working for peace and justice has long been under-valued.

“More aid is urgently needed to ensure the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people in Gaza and to help rebuild the homes, public services and livelihoods that were destroyed in 2014.

“We are calling on Israel to end the collective punishment of the people of Gaza by lifting the inhumane blockade and allowing more critical supplies to go where they are needed the most,” said Ms Davidson.

Cuba still pursuing Security Council over Palestine

Prensa Latina

Cuba has once again denounced the UN Security Council’s failure to act in response to Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people, despite global support for the occupied Arab nation’s cause, reported Prensa Latina.

Photo: Telesur

Photo: Telesur

In an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, Cuba’s permanent representative, Ana Silvia Rodríguez, denounced the Security Council’s failure to adopt a single resolution demanding Israel end its aggressive policies and colonial practices against the Palestinian people.

“The council’s failure to take action in the face of such acts is alarming. It is unacceptable that the Security Council should continue be held hostage by the veto, or the threat of veto, by the United States, preventing the organisation from fulfilling its responsibility and protecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” she stated.

The ambassador reiterated Cuba’s call for the organisation to fulfill the responsibility afforded it by the UN Charter to maintain peace and international security, highlighting that it must adopt decisions demanding that Israel immediately cease its occupation of the West Bank, including West Jerusalem, and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Read more »

Protest in Istanbul demands rejection of “normalization” agreement


istanbul1 (400 x 400)

BDS Turkey organized a protest in Istanbul on July 1 with the participation of political parties and groups opposing the new “normalization” agreement between the Turkish government and the Zionist state, expressing outrage at this agreement that only serves the interests of the Zionist occupier and provides nothing genuine or serious for the Palestinian people.

Protesters issued a statement against the agreement, noting that it serves the strategic interests of the Zionist state. “The agreement will be of vital strategic importance to the state of the Zionist occupation. The Turkish state will implicitly accept the legitimacy of the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, and the membership of the occupation state in NATO, in addition to serving as a strategic economic resource for the Zionist entity.” Read more »

PFLP warns of dangerous Turkish-Israeli agreement built on looting the natural gas of the Palestinian people


no-normalization-350x247 (400 x 282)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine notes that the Turkish-Israeli agreement for “normalization of relations” between the two countries is a suspicious and threatening agreement, indicating a development in relations and strategic cooperation that rests on a history of long-standing relations since the declaration of the occupation state.

The Front noted that the agreement reflects the interests and priorities of the Erdogan government, which never broke its economic, military or security ties with “Israel” despite the misinformation and Turkish official propaganda that sought to tie the normalization of relations between the states to an end to the siege of the Gaza Strip. This was a deceptive attempt to play the Palestinian card in the framework of regional conflicts, especially with the outbreak of the so-called “Arab spring.” Read more »

Turkish relief agency İHH condemns Israeli-Turkish agreement, vows to continue Mavi Marmara case

Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH)
Public Announcement

We Hope the Parliament doesn’t Forgive Israeli Murderers

mavimarmara (400 x 265)

Today following the ongoing diplomatic negotiations Israel and Turkey have officially announced normalized relations, which have been strained following the attack on Mavi Marmara on 31st May 2010. Netanyahu’s announcement on behalf of Israel came around the same time Turkey issued a statement about it. In the press conference, Netanyahu has declared in a victorious attitude that “It is a tremendous economic success for Israel. The blockade on Gaza by no means is lifted nor shall it ever be lifted. Turkey has agreed to our terms.” He has highlighted that Israel agreed not to pay compensation but to make a donation of 20 million dollars provided that the cases are withdrawn; that this move will prevent the case from establishing a precedent for other crimes of Israeli soldiers; that the agreement is a significant gain. Unfortunately the rapprochement agreement which is announced by Turkey means that blockade on Gaza is recognized by Turkey. Indeed Gaza is free according to the agreement signed in 2005 and is entitled to the right to travel and do business as it pleases without relying on anybody. The embargo means that Israel is recognized as a superior authority which has the final say on what and how much supplies can enter Gaza and this is the subject matter of the agreement announced. Read more »

Aid organisations launch public call to end Gaza blockade

Press Release

revisedfinaldestruction (400 x 187)

Reconstruction of Gaza could take 17 years with just 5% of building materials allowed in one year on

More than 150,000 people from around the globe have today joined 35 aid, faith, development and human rights organisations in backing an unprecedented joint call urging world leaders to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza and remove the restrictions on basic building materials needed to reconstruct the coastal strip.

With the number of people supporting the call increasing by the hour, this has quickly become the largest ever global public push to end the blockade on the Gaza Strip, with international organizations and the public petitioning world leaders to uphold promises made to rebuild Gaza one year ago.

On the anniversary of the end of the conflict between the government of Israel and Palestinian armed groups, the organisations are calling for construction materials like wood, steel bars and cement to be allowed into Gaza so that hospitals, schools and homes can be urgently rebuilt. Read more »

Erez trap: A tighter grip on the Gaza Strip

Palestinian Information Center

Erez (400 x 236)

It has been three months since the Israeli authorities arrested Akram Yassin, a 35-year-old businessman from Gaza, as he passed through Erez Crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip.

Yassin is a Palestinian businessman from Gaza. He is a transporter of food and feed with an Israeli commercial permit to pass through Erez Crossing. Yassin was arrested at Erez Crossing, like 30 other Gaza businessmen who have been arrested since the start of 2015, in a new Israeli means to suffocate the Strip economically. Read more »

The Global siege on Israel: a report from the World Social Forum

Free Palestine Movement


In June, 2010, when Israeli forces attacked unarmed aid ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, killing ten passengers (including one who died this year from injuries), dockworkers around the world refused to unload or load Israeli ships or cargo. In the port of Oakland, California, hundreds of activists picketed, and members of the ILWU Local 10 dockworkers union refused to cross their picket line. A Zim cargo ship sat at the port for 24 hours before being unloaded.

The Israeli attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014 similarly brought activists and Local 10 dockworkers together in Oakland to stop another Zim ship, but this time the picket held for more than four days, and the ship was forced back to sea without unloading or loading most of its cargo. Everyone wondered if it would be the only success of its kind or the start of something bigger. Read more »

30 International Aid Agencies: “We must not fail in Gaza.”

Joint Statement
30 International Aid Agencies

Latuff (400 x 328)

26 February 2015

Six months have passed since a ceasefire on 26 August 2014 ended over seven weeks of fighting between Israeli
forces and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip. As UN agencies and international NGOs operating in Gaza, we are alarmed by the limited progress in rebuilding the lives of those affected and tackling the root causes of the conflict.

The Israeli-imposed blockade continues, the political process, along with the economy, are paralyzed, and living conditions have worsened.

Reconstruction and repairs to the tens of thousands of homes, hospitals, and schools damaged or destroyed in the fighting has been woefully slow. Sporadic rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups has resumed. Overall, the lack of progress has deepened levels of desperation and frustration among the population, more than two
thirds of whom are Palestine refugees. Read more »

UNDP, Islamic University of Gaza open Legal Aid clinic

by Julie Webb-Pullman

UNDP and IUG dignitaries launch the new law clinic

UNDP and IUG dignitaries launch the new law clinic

A ceremony at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) on Monday launched the third phase of a double-whammy law project in Gaza designed to provide legal aid on the one hand, and practical legal experience for senior law students on the other.

Dr Mohamed Al Nahal, project leader and Associate Professor of International Law, said the project, which was launched in August 2011, has already had many successes, including the release of detained persons through representing them in court, and the settlement of several inheritance disputes.

“There have been more than a thousand free consultations in the last two years,” Dr Nahal said. “It combines training law students in practical legal skills with providing a much-needed – and free – social service. One hundred students will benefit from this next stage, where they will work in groups under the supervision of qualified lawyers.” Read more »

Freedom Flotilla Coalition: Open Gaza Port

Press Statement
Freedom Flotilla Coalition

freedom flotilla

December 8, 2014

The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. Israel is not being held accountable for the damage it caused during its assault on the strip nor for the commitments it made as a part of the Egyptian brokered agreement to end hostilities. The port of Gaza remains closed and borders remain blocked and Palestinians in Gaza continue to be denied their basic right to freedom of movement. Gaza continues to suffer from the lack of basic supplies and materials needed for daily life let alone rebuilding what Israel damaged during its July/August assault. The International community did not meet the obligations it made to Gaza after the assault either.

In the shadow of these circumstances the Freedom Flotilla Coalition met in Athens on December 6th and 7th to follow up and revise plans for the upcoming flotilla: Freedom Flotilla III: Open Gaza port. Read more »

Globalizing action to block Israeli Zim ships

Free Palestine Movement

Protestors block Zim ship in Oakland, California, August 2014

Protestors block Zim ship in Oakland, California, August 2014

You may have heard that the Zim shipping line has decided to discontinue sending its ships to California ports in the US. This is a major victory, but also a tactical retreat for Zim and the government of Israel. They appear to be terrified that ports around the world might block Israeli ships. Demonstrations and successful actions fuel the movement, and Israel may have decided that if there are no Israeli ships to picket, the news media will show little interest.

Perhaps, but that is why the Free Palestine Movement and other groups are working to encourage and develop pickets at other ports around the world. Zim lost millions of dollars and several clients as a result of the actions in the US. Shipping clients expect their cargo to be delivered on schedule, and the Oakland disruptions alone resulted in delays of weeks or months as well as extra shipping costs on non-Zim carriers. If a few more ports around the world can accomplish the same results, Zim will suffer greatly, and possibly mortally. Bringing down the giant Zim shipping line would be a major victory for the picket organizers, and might lead to similar actions against other Israeli interests.

On 1-3 December, Beirut, Lebanon will host an international meeting of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. The Free Palestine Movement will be one of dozens of organizations from as many countries to be represented. Our contribution will be a proposal for global actions to stop Israeli ships at ports around the world and to convene an international labor conference on Palestine in 2015. The proposal will occupy a major part of the conference, which will also address the brutal Israeli siege of Gaza, the threats against the Palestinian community in Jerusalem and its Muslim and Christian holy places, as well as other topics.

Co-founder Paul Larudee will represent FPM at the conference and will report on the results after his return. We hope that other groups that are pursuing similar objectives in other places will also share such information, so that we do not miss this opportunity to give Israel a small taste of what it means to suffer a blockade of its ships, as it has done to Gaza for the last 47 years.

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