On the first anniversary of the beginning of the #GreatReturnMarch protests by Palestinians in Gaza to mark #LandDay on March 30, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition stands in solidarity with our Palestinian friends who are demanding full freedom of movement, including the right to return to their homes in historic Palestine.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition joins the Palestinian Human Rights Institutions Association and demands that:
- the international community fulfill its responsibilities, condemn the aggression and actively intervene to compel the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to stop their ongoing and escalating aggression on the Gaza Strip and to respect International Humanitarian Law.
- all parties to the Geneva Convention IV uphold their legal responsibilities under Article 1 of the Convention which states that these parties are committed to respect the Convention and to ensure that the Convention is respected in all circumstances, in addition to its obligation to prosecute those accused of committing serious violations of the provisions of the Convention under Article 146.
- the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court open an official investigation into the killings committed by the IOF against the population of the Gaza Strip to ensure that the IOF are held accountable.
- the European Union and other world bodies suspend their Association Agreements with the Israeli Occupation for failing to respect human rights, and that they cease all forms of cooperation with the Israeli Occupation.
We urge supporters to participate in solidarity protests wherever possible, to write to the media demanding they report the truth about what is happening to Palestinians in Gaza (see these talking points from the American Friends Service Committee) and to contact their governments. Our friends at Code Pink offer more resources here, including a petition we all can sign to the US Congress.
We join the Israeli NGO Gisha and others in calling for an end to blockade and full freedom of movement for all Palestinians, including access to the sea. In the spirit of the historic 2008 call from the Free Gaza movement, we pledge to continue sailing against the blockade until Palestine is free.
The UN Human Rights Council report on Israel’s violation of international law during the 2018 Great Return March can be found here. The most recent “Protection of Civilians” report by the UN OCHA can be found here. Our partners at We Are Not Numbers have regular updates from Palestinian voices in Gaza. Al Jazeera video about the Palestinian poet and non-violent resistance activist, Ahmed Abu Artema who inspired the Great Return March protests in Gaza. Also: Hundreds killed, thousands wounded: A year of Gaza rallies, by Ben White on Al Jazeera.