For Immediate Release
Palestine Center Condemns Attack on Aid Boats
WASHINGTON - The
Palestine Center condemns in the strongest terms the killing of
civilian activists aboard aid boats destined for blockaded Gaza at the
hands of Israeli commandos which took place Sunday evening.
The aid boats were part of a "Freedom Flotilla", an internationally
organized movement which included hundreds of civilians from across the
globe who sought to bring 10,000 tones of humanitarian aid to the
people of Gaza. While in international waters, the boats were boarded
by heavily armed Israel commandos and the ensuing confrontation left
several of the civilian activists dead. Varied reports over the past
two days have placed the number of killed between 10 and 20 and the
injured between 30 and 80. The ships and their passengers have been
taken to Israeli ports and Israel has yet to release complete details
on the dead and injured.
The Palestine Center mourns the loss of the activists who took it upon
themselves to raise awareness about the injustice of the siege in Gaza.
Yousef Munayyer, the Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and
Palestine Center, said, "These brave souls recognized that when
governments fail to take action to stop injustice, as is the case in
Gaza, the common people must take up the task of creating change. In
this effort to raise awareness about the debilitating collective
punishment of Gaza civilians, several activists laid down their lives."
Munayyer added, "The government of Israel must immediately end the
siege of Gaza. The siege has benefitted no one and the collective
punishment of civilians is a crime under international law."
The Palestine Center calls on the international community to demand
an immediate investigation of the killings in international waters and
to hold the perpetrators accountable. Furthermore, the Palestine Center
calls on civil society to redouble their efforts to end the collective
punishment of the people of Gaza and the ongoing Israeli occupation of
For more information, call 202-338-1290 or visit www.palestinecenter.org.
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Palestine Center is an independent think-tank committed to
communicating reliable and objective information about the Palestinian
political experience to American policy makers, journalists, students
and the general public. Established in 1991, it is the educational
program of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development.
The Palestine Center brings together people and resources within the American and Palestinian communities to educate about Palestine and the Palestinian people's ongoing quest for sovereignty on their land, civil and political rights and an end to Israeli occupation.
The need for an organization such as The Palestine Center can be found in the effects of the economic, cultural and political oppression Palestinians have endured and which continues on a daily basis in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the surrounding refugee camps and for Palestinians world-wide as they struggle to retain their homeland.
Palestinians' ability to maintain their daily lives and strengthen their democratic political system depends on international humanitarian and non-governmental organizations such as The Palestine Center.