Gaza – Byron Friends of Palestine

Event: Mullumbimby-Brunswick Heads Paddle Event
Date & Time: Sunday, 26 May, 0730-1600
Participant: Byron Friends of Palestine
Contact: Gareth Smith (Tel: 6680 7360, 0422298165)

On 26 May, Byron Friends of Palestine will symbolically deliver medical equipment and water purification units on its Gaza Aid Flotilla kayak, highlighting the international Gaza Ark relief initiative which aims to draw worldwide attention to the illegal* Israeli blockade and to export Gazan goods on its own boat.

• Gaza is the world’s biggest prison with 1.6 million people besieged by Israel’s land, sea and air forces since 2007.

• In 2008 Israel launched the 22 day Operation Cast Lead offensive against Gaza using the most advanced weapons including white phosphorus and depleted uranium. 1300 were killed and 5,000 wounded. Then Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon described the extent of death and unprecedented destruction of civilian infrastructure across the Gaza Strip including hospitals, schools, mosques, civilian homes and United Nations (UN) compounds as “shocking and alarming”. Daily attacks against Palestinian families are still continuing.

• Australia, as a member of the UN Security Council and close friend of Israel, has a special responsibility to pressure Israel to lift its siege. Additionally, it is obligated under Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention “to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts”.

• Gareth Smith, Byron Friends of Palestine, hopes the flotilla action will raise public awareness about what is happening in Gaza and what Australians can do about Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine.

*Israel is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention: Articles 2, 27, 33, 53, 55 and 56(1).

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