Archive for Breaking the siege

Gaza we are coming

Posted in Activism, Everyday life in Gaza, Gaza, International community, Israeli occupation, Non-violent resistance, Palestine, Siege, Videos with tags , , , , on 11/09/2009 by 3071km

Date published: 11th September 2009

Source: Aljazeera English

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In August 2008, two wooden Greek ships laden with 44 activists from 17 different countries managed something no other vessel had in 41 years and broke the marine blockade that Israel has unilaterally imposed in Gaza, in contravention of  international law.

The mission was the brainchild of the Free Gaza Movement, founded in 2006, who realised that the only realistic way of breaking through the blockade was via the sea.

However the project was fraught with delays and risks from the outset and in the words of Paul Larudee from the group: “This project died a thousand deaths and every time it was about to die someone, somebody new, stepped forward to save the project.”

The last such person was Vangelis Pissias, a Greek who was touched by the Palestinian issue during his youth in Egypt and provided the boats for the group to undertake the mission to Gaza.

All involved were aware of the perilous nature of the mission. Previous attempts have been thwarted and boats even exploded. Activists have also been found dead in suspicious circumstances.

It explores the motives of those involved including the ordinary Greeks who volunteered to participate in this dangerous but successful operation.

It also recounts how the boats were built secretly in Greek shipyards, the logistics involved, the attempts to thwart the mission and why it was laden with such historical importance and pressure to succeed.

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

PART 4

U.N. official pleads for opening of Gaza borders

Posted in Gaza, Hamas, Israeli politics, Operation Cast Lead, Siege with tags , , , , , on 04/04/2009 by 3071km

Source: REUTERS

Fri Apr 3, 2009 3:44pm EDT

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 (Reuters) – The top U.N. aid official in the Gaza Strip urged Israel on Friday to ease restrictions on the flow of goods into the conflict-torn territory, saying they were “devastating” for the people.

“It’s wholly and totally inadequate,” John Ging, head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, said about the amount of goods Israel permits into the territory, where some 1.5 million Palestinians live.

“It’s having a very devastating impact on the physical circumstances and also the mindset of people on the ground,” he said.

Israel says it has opened Gaza’s border to larger amounts of food and medicine since its December-January offensive against Hamas militants who control the Palestinian enclave and were firing rockets against Israeli towns.

The war destroyed some 5,000 homes and, according to figures from a Palestinian rights group, killed over 1,400 people. Around 80 percent of Palestinians are reliant on aid.

Ging said access to goods was still a severe problem.

“We need access,” he said. “It’s the number one issue. It’s the number two issue. It’s the number three issue, and so on. Until we get it, there’s nothing as important as solving the access issue.”

Israel fears opening the borders would allow Hamas to smuggle more weapons and ammunition into the territory.

Ging said that all the crossing points from Israel into the Gaza Strip should be opened, and those that were currently opened in a limited way to only selected people or goods should be fully opened.

In addition to restrictions on what it deems luxury goods, such as cigarettes and chocolates, Israel has blocked entry of materials such as cement and steel for rebuilding because it says they could be used for bunkers and rearming.

Since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in a 2007 civil war with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s secular Fatah faction, Israel has tightened its blockade of the 30-mile (45-km) strip in an effort to weaken Hamas’ hold on power.

Ging said he understood the “real security challenges” to the operation of crossing points, such as when militants were firing rockets that could endanger people at the crossings. But he said it was not clear why they were closed at other times.

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said last month that an expansion of activity at Gaza’s border crossings could be discussed once Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was captured by Hamas in 2006, is released.

(Additional reporting by Claudia Parsons; Editing by Alan Elsner)

Erased – Wipped off the map

Posted in Gaza, Siege with tags , , , on 23/03/2009 by 3071km

I’ve just received this link from a friend. It’s the promotional trailer of the documentary film made by the Free Gaza activists that were present on the ground during the Israeli attack on Gaza.

If you want to watch the English or Spanish versions of the trailer or you want more information about the film please visit http://www.wipeoffthemap.com

For more information on the Free Gaza Movement please visit their website.

Erased – Wipped off the map

On december 19th 2008, the Free Gaza movement sailed from Cyprus to Palestine.
Our objective was to break the Israeli siege over the Gaza Strip.
We were the last and only foreigners to enter and stay in the territory.
We got involved in something that nobody expected.

This is a C.I. COMUNICACIÓN production.

Directed by Alberto Arce and Miguel Llorens.