The following statement was released yesterday:
On the eve of first anniversary of the deadly Israeli attack on the 2010 international Flotilla to break the siege of Gaza, Australian participants reiterated their determination to join the second Flotilla, which will set sail for Gaza at the end of June.
“We welcome Egyptian moves to partially lift the siege by opening the Raffah crossing,” said former Greens MLC Sylvia Hale, “but in itself this will not substantially alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza.
“Despite the easing of the siege, men under 40 are not permitted to cross, making it impossible for them to find jobs outside Gaza. The refusal to permit raw materials to enter Gaza or exports to leave it, means widespread unemployment will continue.
“Gaza will not be free so long as the Israeli siege destroys the territory’s economy,” said Ms Hale.
“The Australian delegation is determined to join the second international Flotilla to break the siege,” said Vivienne Porzsolt of Jews Against the Occupation.
“The world witnessed the brutality of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara 12 months ago, when nine activists were killed and many others injured and illegally detained,” Ms Porzsolt said.
“Such aggression must not go unchallenged. By participating in the Flotilla, we are opposing Israel’s acts of piracy in international waters and its illegal blockade of Gaza..
“We are committed to peace and non-violence and will offer no provocation or resistance to any action by the Israeli forces. Should any of us be injured, it will be the responsibility of the Israeli Government,” said Ms Porzsolt.