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PR_FlotillasWork_June24

PR_FlotillasWork_June24

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Published by: Angela Godfrey-Goldstein on Jun 23, 2011
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For Immediate Release
 June 24, 2011
Israel Proves that Flotillas Work 
Israel’s announcement of authorization for construction materials for 1,200homes and 18 schools in Gaza is the latest achievement by the FreedomFlotilla, scheduled to sail next week.In the weeks leading up to the flotilla, Israel has taken a number of steps totry to address the concerns raised in the public eye by the
Freedom Flotilla 2Stay Human
initiative. However organizers say that these steps aresymbolic at best, fall far short of Israel’s obligations under international law,are insufficient to meet the needs of Palestinians in Gaza, and arefundamentally designed to maintain the occupation and system of controlthat Israel exerts over Palestinian lives. Ultimately, these measures fall shortof the greatest test – that of freedom for Palestinians.In addition to the authorization of a limited amount of construction materials,Israel has also recently permitted 19 trucks of medicine to be delivered byPalestinian sources from the West Bank to Gaza. This was in response to anemergency announcement from health authorities in Gaza that crucialmedicines had run out due to Israel's illegal blockade. Prior to that, Israelincreased the number of aid trucks entering Gaza to between 210 and 220per day. However, this still falls 35% short of what is required by Gaza Stripresidents. The pattern developing shows that as the sailing date of the Flotilla nears,Israel is increasing efforts to allow humanitarian goods into Gaza, includingpreviously banned reconstruction materials. This proves three importantthings: (1) the Flotilla is effective in generating changes, even if they areinsufficient, on the ground; (2) the ‘normal channels’ for delivering aid exist,but are useless without pressure on Israel to allow them to function; and (3)Israel’s standard excuse for preventing reconstruction material into Gaza isrendered baseless, given the approval to allow 1,200 homes and 18 schoolsto be constructed.Even as the Freedom Flotilla welcomes this latest achievement and proof of the necessity and effectiveness of the Flotilla tactic, we also reiterate thatour effort is not simply about delivering humanitarian aid. The goal of theFlotilla is not aid; it is freedom for Palestinians in Gaza and the rest of theoccupied Palestinian territories. As such, there are no ‘established channels’for freedom – there is only one - an end to the Israeli occupation.Flotilla preparations continue apace, buoyed by the support of people aroundthe world. Next week
Freedom Flotilla 2: Stay Human
sails for Gaza; ourdestination is freedom.
 
###
 
FROM THE FREE GAZA MOVEMENT WEBSITE:www.freegaza.org Follow the flotilla athttp://witnessgaza.com  The Free Gaza movement is a human rights group that, since August 2008,has traveled nine times to Gaza by sea to break Israel's illegal strangleholdon1.5 million Palestinian civilians. We entered Gaza successfully five times in2008; however, we have been violently intercepted on the past four voyages,including Israel's MAY 31, 2010 lethal attack on our Freedom Flotilla, whennine of our colleagues were killed and many more injured by Israelicommandos. The Free Gaza movement and its coalition partners, the European Campaignto End the Siege on Gaza; IHH -- the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights,Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief; the International Committee to End theSiege on Gaza; Ship to Gaza Sweden and Ship to Gaza Greece are the onlyorganizations that have sent boats directly to Gaza in defiance of Israel'scriminal closure of the Gaza Strip. We sail as an expression of citizennonviolent, direct action, confronting Israel's ongoing abuses of Palestinianhuman and political rights.
Written by Free Gaza Team
|
17 June 2011
17 June 2011 | Istanbul
For Immediate Release:Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human is a rainbow coalition of human rightsdefenders. It does not only concern Muslims, but everyone, be they Muslim,Christian, Jew, Hindu, secular or whatever. This is world citizenry united.
Ourdestination is Gaza. Our means are non-violent. Our goal is to liftthe illegal siege, completely and permanently and freedom for thePalestinian people.
With national campaigns in over 20 countries and around 10 ships beingreadied, Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human is on track to sail to Gaza to breakthe illegal Israeli blockade. The Turkish aid organization IHH remains part of the flotilla, even though the Mavi Marmara is unable to sail.Israel’s policy of collective punishment remains intact. There is no doubtabout the need for the flotilla. The so-called “established channels” fordelivering aid to Gaza, referred to by global leaders seeking to stop ourmission, do not allow for the needs of the people of Gaza to be met due toIsrael’s many restrictions, nor do they permit freedom for Palestinians.Nowhere else in the world are people required by the internationalcommunity to accept humanitarian aid instead of freedom. And even thathumanitarian aid is not forthcoming, owing to Israel’s blockade. This month,the health authority in Gaza proclaimed a state of emergency due to anacute shortage of vital medicines. Approximately 178 types of medicationsand 123 types of medical supplies have run out, and an additional 69 typesof medications and 70 types of medical supplies are expected to run outwithin the next three months.A few days ago, 46 Palestinian civil society organizations announced their full

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