Support Those Who Sail to Break the Seige of Gaza


Much critical work to promote human rights and uphold international law in Gaza remains to be done. The following organizations offer opportunities to join with others who are actively working to break the siege of Gaza:

• The Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) has worked for more than two decades to bring direct humanitarian aid to Gaza in the form of food, medicine, and financial support for local development projects. Recent highlights of their courageous work include a four-ton shipment of medical supplies and the installation of fresh water systems to provide clean drinking water in Gaza's elementary and middle schools. Find out about the next opportunity to get together with other activists and help pack a shipment of goods.

• In response to the May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, members of both houses of the U.S. Congress proposed pieces of legislation that labeled the passengers aboard the ships extremists, offered explicit support for the naval blockade, and opposed a United Nations investigation into the violence. The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation urges people to combat the pro-Israeli lobby by sending letters to members of Congress condemning the Israeli military's response and the demanding an end to the siege. Beyond this, they can help you organize a delegation of concerned constituents to meet with your elected representatives to express your concerns about unconditional U.S. support for the Israeli government. Click here to find the resources you need.

• The Free Gaza Movement (FGM), one of the lead organizers of the besieged Gaza Freedom Flotilla, will not be intimidated by the Israeli military's indefensible violence. International outrage toward Israel's blockade and occupation of Gaza has mounted in the wake of FGM's powerful acts of civil disobedience. The group will continue to sail for Gaza with international human rights defenders and humanitarian supplies until this inhumane policy has been defeated. FGM can help set you up with a passenger from one of their previous trips to come to your community to talk about his or her experience at sea. For those who have already been involved in the issue who feel prepared to face the risks associated with direct action, FGM continues to strategize about ways to get involved. Click here to find out how you can contribute to their heavy-hitting efforts.


Background

The following is a limited background on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Click here to view a more in-depth page that includes various video footage and short films.

Since Israel’s military campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian people in Gaza, waged in blatant violation of international law in late 2008 and early 2009, a devastating blockade of the area has remained in place. As a direct result, Gaza’s economy and infrastructure lie in ruins, with the vast majority of Palestinians there living on less than $1 a day. In response to international outrage at the Israeli military's attack of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 31, 2010, and the subsequent attention it brought to the inhumanity of the blockade, the Israeli government agreed to ease its restrictions. However, they have declared they will continue to severely restrict Gazans' mobility and the trade of goods that are necessary for rebuilding their destroyed infrastructure. Popular pressure must build to force Israeli officials to fully end the siege and allow Gazans the freedom to rebuild their lives.




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