Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Amnesty demands Israel 'immediately' lift Gaza blockade

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- British human rights organization Amnesty International condemned the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip in a statement released on Monday, demanding Israel "immediately lift its blockade" on the besieged coastal enclave "by allowing the delivery of fuel and other essential supplies into the territory without restrictions."

The statement highlighted that the situation in Gaza had deteriorated significantly in the last month, as "Gaza's 1.7 million residents have been living without power for most of the time and in the shadow of a public health catastrophe, after their sole power plant was forced to shut down, causing the failure of several sewerage and water plants."

"This latest harsh setback has exacerbated the assault on the dignity of Palestinians in Gaza and the massive denial of rights they have experienced for more than six years because of Israel’s blockade, together with restrictions imposed by Egypt," Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, was quoted as saying in the report.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade for nearly 7 years. However, since the July military coup, Egypt has strictly enforced the blockade and targeted underground tunnels that used to provide the strip with a vital lifeline to the outside world. more

Activists on board 20 fishing boats manage to break Gaza blockade

Hundreds of human rights activists have broken the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip by passing the fishing limits imposed by Tel Aviv.

On Monday, activists in Gaza on board 20 fishing boats managed to partially break the naval blockade.

The Resistance Flotilla continued the attempt at sea for several hours before coming back.

The activists said they had “broken” the blockade, which prohibits fishing boats from sailing six nautical miles from the coastline.

According to the organizers of the move, about 300 Palestinian and European activists took part in the event.

The activists tried “to put pressure on Israel to stop its violation against the fishermen” and “against the illegal blockade and against the illegal occupation,” said Majed Abusalama, spokesman for the organizing group.

He also stated that the activists “want to say to everyone that enough is enough,” adding that the participants were demanding “resilience and justice.” more