Saturday, January 26, 2008

A relief convoy and Israeli demonstration on the Gaza border

I'm glad to report that Pastors Julie Rowe and Mark Holman, ELCA members in Jerusalem, are taking part in the convoy described here.

Press release
The policy of force has failed, prison walls broken

End the blockade completely!
Ceasefire now for the sake of Sderot and of Gaza!

Saturday 26.1.08:
A countrywide relief convoy and Israeli demonstration in solidarity on the Gaza border with a parallel Palestinian demonstration in the Strip.

It is impossible to keep one and a half million people in a huge prison, and if you try, an explosion is bound to happen, as happened at the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt. Residents of the Gaza Strip, like those of Israel and every other place in the world, have the fundamental right of free access to the outside world, for people and goods.

The Israeli Coalition Against the Siege continues preparations for the protest convoy to the Gaza border, on Saturday January 26, in co-ordination with the Palestinian Coalition which is preparing parallel actions inside Gaza and in Ramallah, demanding a complete end to the blockade of Gaza. The policy of naked force, undertaken by Olmert and Barak, has utterly failed. It is neither desirable nor possible to renew the blockade. Nor will the continuing military offensive on Gaza end the shooting of missiles at Israeli territory.

Well go to the Gaza border, in co-operation with Palestinian partners inside Gaza, to show there's an alternative to siege and rocket-fire - an alternative of ceasefire, peace and quiet, and the flourishing of Sderot and Gaza alike.

On Saturday, 26 January 2008, a humanitarian convoy of supplies headed by peace and human rights organisations will go from Nazareth, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beer Sheva to the Gaza Strip border, decked with signs "Lift the Blockade!" The convoy will meet up at 12.00 noon at Yad Mordechai Junction and all will then travel together to a hill which overlooks the Strip, where a demonstration will take place at 13:00. Speakers will be Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery, Naomi Zion, Fatmeh el-Ajou, Nurit Peled-Elhanan and Prof. Jeff Halper. There will be a ’phone link between the Israeli demo and hundreds of Gazans on the Gaza side in Gaza City at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, demonstrating as part of the "Palestinian- International Campaign to End the Siege," a spokesman of whom is psychiatrist and human rights activist, Dr. Eyad Sarraj.

The convoy will contain sacks of flour, food supplies and other essential products, especially water filters. Water supplies in Gaza are polluted, with nitrates at a level ten times the maximum recommended by the World Health Organisation. Due to the Israeli blockade, Gaza has a critical shortage of water filters, creating an intolerable violation of minimum humanitarian standards.

[There is more at the web site of Gush Shalom, the Israeli peace bloc:]

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