Please give generously to help fund the upcoming international aid flotilla to Gaza. They aim to break the siege by sea this time, and bring much-needed aid and solidarity to the imprisoned people of Gaza.
Viva Palestina are fundraising to help provide:
- construction materials, especially cement
- medicines, wheel chairs and medical equipment
- educational materials such as pencils and paper
The flotilla will leave Turkey and Cyprus on 23 May, so time is short. If you’re going to donate, do it TODAY!!
Some background information; why this matters
The majority of international aid to the people of Gaza (many of whom are refugees from territories violently siezed by Israel over the last 60 years) has been withheld since 2006. This was collective punishment against an entire population – illegal under international law – for the crime of electing an ‘unapproved’ (by Israel and the West) government. The people of Gaza have done nothing to deserve this punishment.
In 2007, having failed to inspire a popular revolt against the Palestinian leadership, Israel clamped down still further on the people of Gaza, enforcing a complete siege, during which only a tiny proportion of the food and basic survival supplies needed have been allowed in. Meanwhile, much of the decent farm land around Gaza has been ploughed up, with crops destroyed by Israeli tanks. Centuries-old olive groves have been torn down. Fishermen attempting to fish off the coast of Gaza, and farmers trying to tend their land are routinely shot at. All of this is illegal under international law, but with the protection and sponsorship of the US and Britain, Israel doesn’t feel it has much to worry about.
On 27 December 2008, Israel launched its latest criminal offensive against the people of Gaza – a massive aerial bombardment and land invasion, which left 1,400 dead, many of whom were children. The war crimes committed during this offensive have been widely documented, yet so dehumanised has the Israeli army become, that t-shirts were being sold to returning soldiers celebrating their ‘achievements’ during the campaign. One depicted a pregnant Palestinian woman with a target on her belly; the slogan read ’1 shot, 2 kills’.
Penned in by the fourth-largest hi-tec military machine in the world, with Israel in control of its airspace and borders and US-client Egypt colluding by sealing off the border at Rafah in the south, Gaza is nothing but an open prison. The siege of Gaza is an unjust, immoral and illegal act of collective punishment against an entire population, the most vulnerable of whom (children, the elderly) suffer disproportionately.
Unemployment stands at over 65 percent, the highest in the world. Eighty percent of Gazans live below the poverty line, while 85 percent rely on international aid (mainly UNRWA) for food relief. Since the bombardment last Dec/Jan, no concrete has been allowed through the borders, meaning that Gazans have been unable to rebuild their destroyed homes, schools and hospitals, despite the fact that some 150,000 construction workers are currently unemployed there.
Israel receives funds, armaments, diplomatic support and preferential trade deals from Britain. Supporting Viva Palestina is a way to tell the people of Gaza that not all British people are complicit in the war crimes committed by the British government in our name.
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY!
If you have a PayPal account you can send money directly by using the ‘send money’ option to Viva Palestina’s email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.