In the upcoming days, Gaza will welcome a group of international activists who are set to sail from Cyprus to Gaza. The internationals have come from various countries worldwide to break the siege of Gaza and send out a message of solidarity with its people who have suffered under a debilitating Israeli blockade for the past 14 months .
The Israeli occupation authorities have recently threatened to forcefully prevent the Free Gaza Boat from arriving at Gaza shores. IMEMC’s Rami Almeghari conducted the following exclusive interview with Greta Berlin, media team of the Free Gaza Boat.
What was the motive behind sailing to Gaza?
We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about Gaza’s outdoor prison and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine’s right to welcome internationals as visitors and human rights observers.
How many international activists are sailing to Gaza and what they represent?
There are 40 people sailing, the oldest is 84 and the youngest is 22. We come from 17 countries, and we all represent people who are appalled at the treatment of 1.5 million Palestinians.
Do you expect arrival at the shores of the besieged coastal territory, or there are any obstacles?.
Apparently, the Israeli navy and the Israeli government say they will forcefully stop us. We will do our best to continue to sail toward Gaza despite the illegal stopping of the Palestinians’ right to ask us to come by Israel.
Are you bringing any supplies to the people of Gaza?
This is a human rights mission and not a humanitarian mission. The people of Gaza need to have their human and civil rights back. They are capable of taking care of themselves, feeding themselves and being productive if the Israeli military would let them have their human rights, rights guaranteed by International Law.
We are bringing 200 hearing aids for the children who are losing their hearing because of Israel’s constant sound bombs and sonic booms.
What a message you intend to send through this initiative ?
We hope to bring the message of hope. The message that the world has not forgotten these 1.5 million people surrounded by 10 meter walls, imprisoned and tortured by their prison guards.
We want to tell the international community that they cannot turn away as Israel commits slow-motion genocide on a civilian population. We want to let the world know that one of the reasons Israel is committing these crimes is because they are trying to steal the natural gas that lies off the coast of Gaza, just as they have stolen the land, water and trees of the Palestinians in the past.
Media sources reported that Israel will prevent your access to Gaza, how do you view this and what actions you might be doing in case you are prevented?.
We are bringing the media with us to bear witness. We will do our best to resist nonviolently. We will let the world know that 40 human rights workers can make a difference.
Related article: http://www.imemc.org/article/56592