Tuesday, January 6, 2009


The Free Gaza Movement

"There is a time when silence is complicity and inaction is unacceptable. The ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have lead to the death of over 550 Palestinians, including children and women, and the injury of thousands, with the death and injury toll rapidly rising. Massive violations of international humanitarian law are being committed by Israel, both with regard to its obligations as an Occupying Power and in its conduct of hostilities.

The community of states has thusfar failed to comply with their duty to ensure Israel's respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention and protect the Palestinian civilian population from Israel's serious and persistent violations in accordance with the Convention. Consequently, we, concerned citizens from Belgium, Columbia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Kuwait, Scotland, Spain, and the United States feel that it is our moral duty to do what we can to provide some measure of protection. We are willing to put our bodies on the line to get in the way of Israel's unlawful violence against innocent Palestinian civilians.

In the early hours of Tuesday, December 30, the Israeli Navy violently attacked our motor vessel DIGNITY, which was loaded with medical supplies and carried amongst others, doctors headed to Gaza to assist with the humanitarian crisis there. Neither the ship, nor its passengers and crew constituted any kind of danger to the Israeli Naval Forces. Yet our boat was rammed again and again, in an apparent attempt to disable the vessel, and in a manner that jeopardized the lives of the 16 civilians on board.

We will not be deterred by the violence of the Israeli military. We will set out again for Gaza. We are doctors, journalists, members of parliament, and human rights observers trying to reach the people of Gaza to deliver much needed aid and witness the atrocities being committed again the Palestinians there.

Israel is hereby put on notice that we are coming. We will announce our exact departure date, time and route, traveling from Cypriot waters, into international waters, directly into Gaza territorial waters, never nearing Israeli waters. The Israeli Navy, Ministry of Defense, and Foreign Ministry will all receive a copy of this notice. Any attack on our vessel will be premeditated and any harm inflicted on the 30 civilians on board will be the result of a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians."

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