June 1, 2010

Condemn Israel’s Brazen Attack on the Freedom Flotilla

Focus on Global South condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack made by the Israeli army early morning of May 31 on an aid-carrying flotilla bound for Gaza. This is violence committed against civilians who were on a mission to bring humanitarian aid to Palestinians. There was no reason or justification of whatever kind for this military action.

Media reports place the number of deaths at more than 10, with dozens more injured.

Dubbed the Freedom Flotilla, the convoy comprised six (6) ships with 600 people on board, including human rights activists, a Nobel laureate and several European legislators. The flotilla was on a mission to ship 10,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid, including cement, medicines, school supplies, among others to 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who have been deprived of basic necessities and social services since the Israeli government imposed the embargo on the Palestinian community in December 2008.

Focus supported the formation of the Freedom Flotilla, contributing one of its staff members, Thomas Sommer, to the mission.

The flotilla sailed off a port in Cyprus on Sunday, May 30st, and reached on international waters early Monday morning. According to Free Gaza Movement, organizer of the flotilla, Israeli commandos intercepted the flotilla in international waters 65 kilometers off the Coast of Gaza, boarded the ships and opened fired. According to Al Jazeera, at least 15 people were killed and dozens were injured.

The international community immediately condemned the Israeli attack on the civilian Freedom Flotilla. In Turkey, thousands of people marched on the streets and attempted to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The Turkish government was also reported to have summoned its ambassador to Israel to make known its protest. The Arab League said in a statement that “the attack clearly shows Israel’s aggressive nature and its disrespect to international and humanitarian rules and laws.”

Focus on the Global South adds its voice to this universal condemnation.  It calls on the United Nations to immediately convoke a special session of both the Security Council and the General Assembly to impose sanctions on Israel for this grievous violation of human rights and international law.  Along with the international community, Focus calls for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the withdrawal of Israel from the Occupied Territories.

Media Liaison:
Clark Militante  +639212750731