Closure of Gaza Must Be Lifted; PCHR Welcomes the “Freedom Waves” Flotilla
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
welcomes the "Freedom Waves" Flotilla that left Turkey heading to
Gaza to be in solidarity with the Palestinian civilians and to end the illegal
closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. PCHR
calls upon the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli
Occupation Forces (IOF) to ensure security and safety of the international activists,
who carry love messages and humanitarian aids from thousands of Americans from
the USA. PCHR praises the courageous
decision taken by the flotilla to break the conspiracy of silence and the illegal
and inhumane closure imposed on civilians in the Gaza Strip.
According to PCHR’s follow-up, at 10:00 pm,
Gaza time, on Wednesday, 02 November 2011, the "Freedom Waves"
Flotilla started sailing from Turkey’s regional waters towards Gaza. The Flotilla includes the Irish boat Saoirse
and Canadian boat Tahrir, and 27 international activists from nine countries
are on board of them. Besides, the
Flotilla carries love messages and medical aids from thousands of Americans
from the USA to the Gaza Strip. The
international activists expressed their determination to reach the Gaza Strip
in order to break the illegal closure imposed on Gaza for five years.
Palestinians highly appreciate the
international activists’ determination to break the conspiracy, reminding that
the closure is still ongoing. These activists
are the symbol and core of the international civil society that calls for the
need for law enforcement against the law of the jungle and illegal closure
imposed on the civilians. PCHR warns IOF
against endangering the activists’ safety and security, and reminds of the
crime committed by IOF against the Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010, which
resulted in killing nine international activists and wounding 60 others.
PCHR believes that the "Freedom
Waves" Flotilla, which includes Saoirse and Tahrir boats, is an
international message and a form of determination to support freedom, dignity
and human rights in order to stop the policy of collective punishment against
Palestinian civilians and to end the Israeli-imposed closure.
PCHR reminds that the closure that has been
imposed on Gaza since June 2006 was a direct impact of the attack carried out
by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza on 25 June 2006 and resulted in the
capture of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
Following that attack, Israel imposed more restrictions in an
unprecedented manner, including closing the border crossings whether both for
the movement of persons or commercial purposes.
These collective punishment measures have resulted in destructive
impacts at all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip. By the end of Shalit’s file, and consequently
the end of the pretext made by Israel not to lift the closure imposed on the
Gaza Strip, PCHR calls for an immediate action to put an end to the closure and
collective punishment measures imposed on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza
Strip. Besides, PCHR calls upon the
international community to intervene to end the suffering of civilians and lift
the Israeli-imposed closure.