The Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA) and Media Review Network (MRN) – both South African organisations working towards a free Palestine – express their support for the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC). FFC is an international coalition of organisations working together to end the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, with a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid.
Members of the FFC are currently part of the third Gaza Freedom Flotilla, as it sets sail from Greece to the Gaza Strip to break the siege. We are proud to announce that PSA member and UKZN academic, Reverend Dr. Clint Le Bruyns, has joined activists from 25 countries onboard the flotilla. In addition, Ismail Moola, also representing the PSA, is providing logistical support.
Israel’s eight year blockade has had a devastating humanitarian cost for Gaza. Basic items like cement and steel are restricted from entering Gaza. The economy is paralyzed, as Israel limits Gaza’s exports to just one truck-load of goods per day. The unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world at nearly 40%.
PSA and MRN call on the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) to insist that the Israeli government and its armed forces allow the Freedom Flotilla and its unarmed, civilian passengers a safe passage into Gaza. Any attempt by Israel to obstruct its movement, as it did to a similar flotilla in 2010, is a violation of international law.
In 2010, Israeli armed forces stormed foreign vessels, sailing in international waters, toward the shores of Gaza. Nine unarmed activists were killed. South African journalist, Gadija Davids, along with many others, was injured and detained illegally by the Israeli authorities. DIRCO must ensure that there is no repeat of this aggression by the Israeli authorities.
We further call on the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) to act on the Gaza Docket, that outlines the perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. No longer can the NDPP provide cover for Israeli war criminals by failing to act on this case.
PSA, together with Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP), BDS South Africa and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will be hosting a Day of Solidarity with the Freedom Flotilla at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg on Sunday, 28 June from 11am.
The Freedom Flotilla is a humanitarian mission, and it must be allowed to reach Gaza. Israel must end its siege of Gaza.
Note to journalists:
WhatsApp group for journalists, news desks and media to obtain instant updates live from sea: +30 694292 1386.
Follow: @GazaFFlotilla; #Isail4Freedom; #FreedomFlotilla
Ismail Moola (Palestine Solidarity Alliance): +30 694 221 7174
Naazim Adam (Palestine Solidarity Alliance): 082 3366 711
Suraya Dadoo: (Media Review Network): 011 852 7301 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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