JfJfP statement on the Gaza situation
We welcome the agreement between the EU envoy Tony Blair and Netanyahu to open the Gaza land border crossings “within the next few days” to all domestic goods. We note that this has yet to be agreed by the Israeli government.
We note that the agreement has not lifted the naval blockade of Gazan territorial waters and the port of Gaza, and that there are two serious consequences of this:
It will severely impede the flow of building and other bulky or heavy goods into Gaza and thus continue to throttle reconstruction. The reason for this is that checks at the border crossing of large consignments of building materials will inevitably be meticulous and therefore extremely slow. There will be huge traffic queues.
Ships however can be inspected at the port of departure, this is a regular procedure at most big ports, and there could be UN or EU monitors placed on board. In this way the large volumes necessary to rebuild Gaza could be quickly transported.
Secondly, there has been no mention of the rights of the Palestinian fishermen, who are prevented from fishing beyond a very narrow strip of their polluted coastal waters (polluted by sewage which is the consequence of Israel’s bombing of the sewage systems 18 months ago), or of the wanton random attacks on the fishermen by Israeli patrols, often resulting in deaths and injuries and destruction of their boats.
It is clear that the shameful occupation of Gaza, and the West Bank, by Israel is continuing.
We therefore stand by our plans to sail our Jewish Boat To Gaza at the end of July, to protest about the continuing occupation, to demand that the siege of Gaza must be lifted in its entirety, to campaign for the rights of the Palestinian fishermen, and to show our continuing solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The organizing committee of the Jewish Boat To Gaza: Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost (Germany), Jews For Justice For Palestinians (UK).
See also the JNews editorial Spinning the blockade