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 2– Stay 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.