Zaher Birawi, president of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza declared that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition will soon be back to sailing in order to “break the illegal, immoral and inhuman siege of Gaza,” following a halt of activities due to the corona virus lockdown.
Birawi made his comments following meetings held by the Coalition on the 6th and 7th of November to discuss its plan to resume efforts to break the siege in the coming year of 2023, especially the naval blockade.
“Our goals remain full human rights for all Palestinians, and in particular, freedom of movement within historic Palestine and the right of return,” said Birawi, who is also founding member of the Freedom Flotilla.
Assuring that the sole permanent solution is the total removal of the siege, he added “at the time some of our partner organizations are actively involved with important programs addressing the most urgent needs of Palestinian children traumatized by the blockade and murderous Israeli attacks on Gaza, we recognize that a lasting solution requires an end to the blockade.”
The meeting was attended by representatives of the international coalition in Sweden, Norway, France, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Malaysia, Turkey, Canada, South Africa and the US, in addition to the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza. British and international pro-Palestine solidarity organizations (including Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), popular conference for Palestinians Abroad, Miles of Smiles) also took part in the meetings.
Several vessels have tried to break the siege on the Gaza Strip as part of the Freedom Flotilla, however Israeli occupation forces confronted them and prevented them from reaching Gaza’s shores.
In 2010, Israel brutally raided the Mavi Marmara ship bound for Gaza and left a dozen activists killed. The attack occurred on a flotilla that comprised six civilian ships and sent the Ankara-Tel Aviv ties into a tailspin.
Israel has enforced a crippling blockade on some two million Palestinians in Gaza for supporting Hamas movement in parliamentary elections.
The siege has led to an economic and humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations warning that the overall conditions in the enclave could make it “uninhabitable” by 2020.