The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Huwaida Arraf (Cyprus): +357-96-723-999

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Angela Godfrey-Goldstein (Jerusalem): +972-547-366 393

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ramzi Kysia (U.S): +1-703-994-5422

We Are Coming Back, And We Are Putting Israel On Notice


Today the Free Gaza Movement put Israel on
notice that we are sending another emergency boat to Gaza. We will
announce our exact departure date, time and route in the next few days.
We will travel from Cypriot waters, into international waters, then
directly into Gaza territorial waters, never nearing Israeli waters.

The ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed over 640
Palestinians, including many children and women, and injured thousands.
These acts by Israel are severe and massive violations of international
humanitarian law as defined by the Geneva Conventions, both in regards
to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the
laws of war.

The United Nations has failed to protect the Palestinian civilian
population from Israel's massive violations of international
humanitarian law. Therefore, we concerned citizens from Belgium,
Columbia, France, Canada, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Jordan,
Kuwait, Scotland, Spain, and the United States, feel that it is our
moral duty to try to do just that.

The Israeli military violently attacked an earlier attempt by the
Free Gaza Movement to send an emergency boat filled with doctors and
medical supplies to Gaza. In the early hours of Tuesday, December 30,
the Israeli Navy rammed our boat, the DIGNITY, in international waters.
Neither the DIGNITY, nor its passengers and crew constituted any kind
of threat to Israel, and the Israeli government had been alerted to the
boat's mission, the previous day. Yet we were violently rammed three
times on the side without any warning from the Israeli Navy, in an
obvious attempt to disable the vessel, jeopardizing the lives of the 16
passengers on board.

We are not deterred by the violence of the Israeli military and
intend to sail to Gaza again and again. We are physicians, journalists,
members of parliament, and human rights observers who intend to reach
the people of Gaza to deliver much needed medical aid and witness the
atrocities being committed against the Palestinians there.

We are willing to put our bodies on the line to stop Israel's
unlawful massacres of the Palestinian people (we have received death
threats warning us not to repeat our attempt) and bring the attention
of the world to the war crimes happening in Gaza against 1.5 million

Free Gaza is a human rights group founded in 2006. Our mission is to break the Israel's illegal siege on Gaza's 1.8 million civilians, since it inflicts collective punishment on the Palestinians who live there and has destroyed its economy. Free Gaza believes in direct action in confronting Israel's abuse of Palestinians using non-violent means and has found these voyages to be one of the most effective ways to alert the world to the prison-like conditions of Gaza. Ultimately, there is no better example of direct action than Free Gaza's sustained attempts to break the siege on Gaza which Israel claims it no longer occupies