June 5, 2011
Aid Does Not Equal Freedom
For Immediate Release
Contact: Adam Shapiro, +30-694-781-5798, firstname.lastname@example.org
Huwaida Arraf, +30-694-781-5798, email@example.com
Greta Berlin, +33 607 374 512, Iristulip@gmail.com
Israel’s announcement today that it is “allowing between 210 and 220” trucks into Gaza with humanitarian aid is a direct response to the pressure that the upcoming Freedom Flotilla II is creating. Since July 2007, Israel has kept the number of allowed trucks at 25% of what the pre-blockade numbers were and of what is required by Gaza residents. To date, Israel has not responded to calls by human rights organizations or the UN to increase the numbers. Only as a result of the mounting pressure from the Freedom Flotilla has Israel altered its policy. However, today’s allowance still falls 35% short of what is needed in Gaza.
Letting in more trucks is not enough. More trucks with food and medicine are only meant to give the appearance of an open Gaza. More trucks does not mean freedom; more trucks does not mean rebuilding the hundreds of homes and buildings that the Israeli military destroyed during Operation Cast Lead (only 12 of the trucks being allowed in contain construction material for UN projects); more trucks does not mean Gaza is not occupied and its residents subjected to collective punishment; more trucks does not mean that Israel has ended its cruel blockade; more trucks does not mean that Palestinians are any less imprisoned.
More trucks do, however, mean that Israeli farmers and merchants make money off the occupation. as most international agencies bringing aid into Gaza are forced to buy their supplies from Israel.
Freedom Flotilla II will sail at the end of June to press Israel and the international community to end the occupation of Palestine and to ensure freedom for Palestinians – just as any other people in the world have the right to be free. Instead of pressuring countries to stand in our way, or coming up with ways to bribe governments to stop our ships, the UN, the United States and the rest of the international community should recognize the power of this non-violent civilian effort to pressure Israel to change its policy. With Israel’s change in policy after Freedom Flotilla I, and now these moves to pre-empt our flotilla, it seems we are succeeding where the international community continues to fail.
All original content by The Free Gaza Movement is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
RussiaToday on Jun 5, 2011
Israeli security forces opened fire across the Syrian frontier on Sunday to disperse hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters who stormed the border on the anniversary of the Arab defeat in the 1967 Mideast war. 4 people have reportedly been killed.
Israel gunfire kills 4 on Syria border during pro-Palestinian protests
RussiaToday on Jun 5, 2011
State-run Syrian television says 20 people were killed and 325 wounded by Israeli gunfire along the border in the Golan Heights. The Israeli forces opened fire Sunday to disperse pro-Palestinian demonstrators who tried to cross into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Palestinians and Syrians were storming toward the border in a protest marking 1967 Mideast War, in which Israel occupied the Golan.
20 reported dead as IDF fires at crowds storming Israel-Syria border
max97831’s channel on Jun 6, 2011
Richard Falk is the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian Territories. AlJazeeraEnglish
Richard Falk on the Golan clashes
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
haithmkatib on Jun 5, 2011
Forty-four years ago, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights during the six-day war, which later became known to Palestinians as the Naksa, or setback.[…] This Sunday, as thousands gathered in Gaza, Hebron, East Jerusalem, al Wallaja, Qalandia and at the Syrian border to mark the Naksa and demand an end to the Israeli occupation and immediate withdrawal from all occupied lands, massive numbers of Israeli soldiers attacked the Naksa protesters in Qalandia as people marched towards the checkpoint which separates the city from the part occupied East Jerusalem. Witnesses said that troops invaded the entrance of Ramallah city and fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at unarmed protesters. So far five civilians were reported injured by soldiers’ rubber-coated steel bullets. Two of these were shot by a sniper while they were trying to help another protestor who was shot.
Throughout the day, the army repeatedly took over roofs of buildings, kept shooting tear gas, rubber coated bullets, and spraying protestors (and passing cars) with chemical liquid from the “skunk” or with pepper spray from close distances. In the early evening, more soldiers were still coming in as reinforcement. At least one protestor was arrested as he sat together with other protestors in front of an army jeep that was set to move deeper into the residential areas of Qalandia. Another protestor was pepper sprayed and violently detained by tens of soldiers and special forces as he tried to stop the army from driving off with the arrested youth. Eventually, he could be taken to an ambulance and driven into Ramallah.
Qalandiya Naksa Proest June 5, 2011 By firstname.lastname@example.org