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Community Comment

Humanitarian boats to Gaza in trouble

Gush Shalom calls upon the government to let peace boats reach Gaza Message from the ships mentions electronic jamming hurting vital systems

The Gush Shalom movement calls upon the government to let the two humanitarian boats which sailed yesterday from Cyprus, carrying peace and human rights activists from 17 countries (among them Prof. Jeff Halper of Jerusalem) to sail unmolested, reach the Gaza shores and unload their cargo - hearing aids urgently needed by deaf children in the Strip.

The last message received from the boats, at about 10am this morning (Cyprus time), was that the area they entered was blanketed by heavy electronic jamming, which interferes with vital systems on board, and that they are experiencing rough sea conditions. Afterwards, contact was cut off.

In January, we were ourselves involved in a “break the blockade” action over land. This is a similar non-violent action of international peace and human rights activists and should not be treated with the threat of military force. The state of Israel should let these boats pass to the shore of Gaza, just as in the end it had to let the January convoy pass.

In general, there is no conceivable reason why the state of Israel should maintain a naval blockade of Gaza. This blockade should be removed, and the Palestinians in Gaza should be allowed to build a port, as was stated in the Oslo Agreements, and maintain free contact with the outside world like any other country. The building of the port in itself would provide thousands of jobs and facilitate the reviving of the Gaza economy, and Israel has a vital interest in that” says Gush Shalom.


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