After more than 3 years, the inhabitants of Gaza, 1.5 million people, are living under a criminal siege implemented by Israel and supported by the international community at large. More than a year ago, the war launched by Israel on Gaza, where 1,400 Palestinians were killed, was also a scene of immense destruction. Around 15.000 housing units, 700 private factories and mainly all public infrastructure were either destroyed or badly damaged, a cost evaluated to be around 800 million dollars. As reported by a pool of international NGO's in a special report called “Gaza abandoned, no reconstructions, no reparations, no more excuses”, nothing or very few has been done to rebuild Gaza because of the Israeli siege. But while our cowardly governments remain silent or even stand as accomplices, people all over the world have realized that the issue of Gaza and Palestine in general, has not only been a humanitarian question but also one of the worst violations of human rights. It has also been a violation to the very concept of justice and freedom. After decades of massacres and oppression against the Palestinian people, Palestine is about to be the worldwide symbol of the resistance against injustice and oppression whilst Israel is becoming the symbol of oppression and violation of all things just.
Last December 2009, one year after the Gaza massacre, more than 1,400 people joined together in Cairo with the intention to break the siege and bring solidarity to the people of Gaza. They were prevented to do so by the Egyptian government following orders from Israel and the US. Nevertheless they succeeded to raise loudly the question of the blockade and of the criminal acts of Israel against the Palestinians. This spring 2010, more than 500 people will try to break the siege again, this time with boats. Hopefully they will be able to pass trough the Israeli naval security perimeter. Or, they could very well be arrested and their boats and tons of material aid seized by the Israelis. But the question here is not about success or failure, about victories or defeats. As Palestinian author Samah Sabawi writes: “Palestine is not a battle, it is the epic story of humankind which tells again and again how the oppressed is rising against the oppressor.” Today, Gaza is its flag! So it is not really important whether the mission will successfully reach Gaza, even though it would be a critical and glorious moment for supporters of justice and freedom. The point is that in six months or one year, hundreds of people coming worldwide, from Sweden to India will try once again to go to Gaza and the chain of commitment and solidarity will not stop. In fact, the crucial issue is that behind this movement, the international community is making an unconditional stand with the oppressed, supporting the fight against the oppressor. This is why it is imperative that we give unwavering support to the spring fleet that will try to break the siege on Gaza, as well as to the succeeding ships that are to keep going until Palestine is united and free.
Beginning of April, the Turkey-based IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) organization, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), the Greek Ship to Gaza campaign, the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign and the Free Gaza Movement, built a coalition to send about a dozen boats carrying more than 5000 tons of cargo to Gaza. In middle of May, all boats will join together in the Mediterranean Sea and should reach Gaza a few days later, full of construction materials, medical aid, educational supplies and 500 passengers from all over the globe, amongst them, European and international parliamentarians and personalities. The Greek Ship to Gaza campaign wants to bring tons of cement and different construction materials. Today they are launching a call for donations in order to buy a minimum of 1,500 tons of cement to help rebuild houses and buildings in Gaza. We can help them by sending concrete solidarity to Gaza! We can buy cement! The cost of one ton bought, loaded, insured and shipped to Gaza from Greece is about 150 Euros. For each donation, an equivalent amount of cement to Gaza will be purchased and delivered in your name or your organization. A receipt for a minimum of one ton of cement purchased will be sent to your address and signed by Palestinian receivers. A contribution of 150 Euros to buy one ton of cement will help the families living in a tent for more than a year now, to rebuild their houses.
To contribute you need to do two things:
-First is wiring the money to the bank account of the Greek Ship to Gaza campaign:
NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE,
ACCOUNT NUMBER 116/772732-18
IBAN: GR 8101101160000011677273218 SWIFT [BIC]: ETHNGRAA
-Second will be to email your personal or organisational contact details and the reference of your bank transaction to the following email addresses ([email protected] and [email protected]) in order for us to be able to send you an official receipt.
There is also a possibility to buy shares of the Greek boats. So please don't hesitate to ask us any question at these two addresses: ([email protected] or [email protected]) Visit the website: http://www.shiptogaza.gr/Other-Languages/English
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