The list includes some twenty organizations working to defend human rights, from Europe, the US, Chile, and South Africa, as well as the Palestinian National BDS Committee.
With this ban Israel, which illegally controls the borders of Gaza and the West Bank with international complicity, also prevents free travel to Palestine. This Israeli measure confirms the existing Israeli policy of violating the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The international Freedom Flotilla Coalition condemns this latest attack on freedom of movement by the Israeli government, and we call for the immediate end to the blockade of Gaza. Our Flotillas, like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, are a peaceful, legal tool which enables civil society around the world to act when our governments and international organizations do not do everything they can to fulfill their obligations to Palestinian human rights (see our call to the UN secretary general)
BDS actions aim to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights, to grant full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to recognize the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
As long as the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of Palestine continue, the FFC will continue to challenge the illegal blockade and demand the rights of the Palestinian people to a just future, including full freedom of movement.
On November 12 in a court-room in Haifa, the head of the economics department of the Gaza coordination unit, Mr. Tzidki Maman, was cross-examined by Gaby Lasky, the lawyer representing the owner of the Women’s Boat to Gaza.
She asked him whether the list of permitted (dual-use) items was updated after the latest reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. He replied that the latest update was in December 2015, revealing that political changes do not affect the policy of the blockade - proving that the blockade is not a security measure.
Lasky went on to ask about the electricity supplied by Israel to Gaza. The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) representative confirmed that Israel was currently supplying just 60% of what it used to. He admitted to knowing that this was causing the use of generators especially in the health and water supply sectors. According to him fuel supply is not restricted by the coordination unit, as all requests by the private sector to transfer fuel through Kerem Shalom / Karem Abu Salim are processed and admitted. When asked about the effects of lack of electricity on water supply, he admitted that more water is allowed in than before, and when confronted with the fact that this is due to the difficulty of pumping water without electricity he denied knowledge of it, according to him there is no lack of drinking water in Gaza. He admitted that due to lack of electricity the sewage treatment plants were not working at full capacity.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition opposes the US government’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and begin the process of relocating its embassy to Jerusalem. This unilateral move is proof that the United States can no longer play any credible or constructive role as a mediator in negotiations towards a just peace settlement. Israel must end its illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the illegal blockade of Gaza. No country can violate international law by imposing a capital city on occupied land.
The FFC also condemns all violence perpetrated by Israel forces all over Palestine, including in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinians' right to peacefully protest and resist the occupation must be defended by international voices. We call on civil society to appeal to their respective governments in the strongest terms to speak out about ongoing violations of international law and human rights. Civil society around the world must continue to join in peaceful protest and direct actions to send a clear message that this unilateral abuse of power will not be tolerated.
The Freedoms Flotilla's ongoing grassroots direct actions against the blockade of Gaza and for Palestinian freedom of movement depend on your support, please see sgf.freedomflotilla.org/donate