November 18, 2008
Greta Berlin, France +33 49 34 24 309
Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, Jerusalem +972 547 366 393
The Free Gaza Movement today issued this open letter to all organizations delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip
Israel’s closure of its land borders with Gaza, and Egypt’s submission to Israeli pressure to close the Rafah border is a humanitarian disaster for 1.5 million Palestinians. The United Nations announced last Thursday that inside Gaza it had run out of the food essentials to supply 750,000 desperately needy citizens. “This has become a blockade against the United Nations itself,” a spokesman said.
Therefore, the sea route to Gaza must be considered as a viable option to deliver essential supplies. Since August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement has delivered aid and personnel to Gaza three times without Israeli or Egyptian intervention. Our boat, the DIGNITY, sailed directly from international waters to the waters of Gaza.
The Free Gaza Movement now has an inspection procedure in place in Cyprus to ensure the boat and contents comply with international regulations. In addition, we publish information about our passengers and cargo that ensures nothing and no one harmful is on board. Israel has shown itself willing to accept such assurances from us.
The Free Gaza Movement therefore encourages all agencies to consider the sea route to deliver aid to Gaza. Furthermore, a concerted effort to use the sea will make it all but impossible for Israel to close this vital route.
We are available to assist interested parties and to offer our services. Please contact one or more of the people listed on this release.
The Free Gaza Movement, a human rights group, sent two boats to Gaza in August 2008. These were the first international boats to land in the port in 41 years. Since August, two more voyages were successful, taking Parliamentarians, human rights workers, and other dignitaries to witness the effects of Israel’s draconian policies are on the civilians of Gaza.