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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

(Updated June 1) Condemn Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, break ties with murderous Israel!

(Updated June 1) Condemn Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, break ties with murderous Israel!

The ship that was attacked by murderous pirates in international waters.
Statements by International Solidarity Movement (Palestine), Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Fatah (Palestine), Socialist Alliance (Australia), Socialist Party of Malaysia, People's Democratic Party (Indonesia), Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippines), Working People's Association (PRP) (Indonesia), Coalition for a Free Palestine (South Africa), Congress of South African Trade Unions, Socialist Party USA, Sinn Fein (Ireland) (check back for more).
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Call from Gaza for global response to killings on the freedom flotilla

Gaza, Palestine
May 31, 2010 -- We Gaza-based Palestinian Civil Society Organisations and international activists call on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings in Israel’s attacks against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla sailing for Gaza, and begin a global response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.
We salute the courage of all those who have organised this aid intervention and demand a safe passage through to Gaza for the 750 people of conscience from 40 different countries including 35 international politicians intent on breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends who have lost loved ones in the attack.
By sailing directly to Gaza, outside of Israeli waters, with cargo banned illegally by Israel, such as the 10,000 tonnes of badly needed concrete, toys, workbooks, chocolate, pasta and substantial medical supplies, the flotilla is exercising international law and upholding article 33 of the Geneva Convention which clearly states that collective punishment is a crime against humanity.
The hardships of Israel's closure of Gaza have been well documented by all human rights groups operating, most recently by Amnesty International in their Annual Human Rights Report concluding that the siege has "deepened the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law."
The United Nations continuously states that only a fraction of the required aid is entering the Gaza Strip due to what it calls "the medieval siege", with John Ging the director of UNRWA in Gaza specifically expressing the need for the Flotilla to enter Gaza. The European Union’s new foreign affairs minister Catherine Ashton has just reiterated its call for “an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza”.
The people of Gaza are not dependent people, but self-sufficient people doing what they can to retain some dignity in life in the wake of this colossal man-made devastation that deprives so many of a basic start in life or minimal aspirations for the future.
We, from Gaza, call on you to demonstrate and support the courageous men and women on the Flotilla and join the, many now murdered on a humanitarian aid mission. We insist on severance of diplomatic ties with Israel, trials for war crimes and the international protection of the civilians of Gaza. We call on you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign of a country proving again to be so violent and yet so unchallenged. Join the growing critical mass around the world with a commitment to the day when Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as any other people, when the siege is lifted, the occupation is over and the 6 million Palestinian refugees are finally granted justice.
Dr Haidar Eid: One Democratic Sate Group and University Teachers' Association
Dr Mona El Farra: Middle East Children's Alliance, Gaza 00.972(0)598.868.222
Adie Mormech: International Solidarity Movement 00.972(0)597.717.696
Max Ajl: Gaza Freedom March 00.972(0)597.750.798
Signatory organisations:
The One Democratic State Group
University Teachers Association
Arab Cultural Forum
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
Association of Al-Quds Bank for Culture and Info
Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements
International Solidarity Movement
Palestinian Network of Non-Governmental Organisations
Palestinian Women Committees
Progressive Students Union
Medical Relief Society
The General Society for Rehabilitation
Gaza Community Mental Health Program
General Union of Palestinian Women
Afaq Jadeeda Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Deir Al-Balah Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Maghazi Cultural Centre for Children
Al-Sahel Centre for Women and Youth
Ghassan Kanfani Kindergartens
Rachel Corrie Centre, Rafah
Rafah Olympia City Sisters
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
Al Awda Hospital, Jabaliya Camp
Ajyal Association, Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Syndicates
Al Karmel Centre, Nuseirat
Local Inititiative, Beit Hanoun
Union of Health Work Committees
Red Crescent Society Gaza Strip
Beit Lahiya Cultural Centre
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
[The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led non-violent resistance movement committed to ending Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land. We call for full compliance with all relevant UN resolutions and international law. For specific media inquires such as interview requests, photo usage, etc. please email the ISM Media Office at media@palsolidarity.org.]

PFLP condemns the murderous crimes of the Israeli pirates and salutes the heroes of the Freedom Flotilla

June 1, 2010 -- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemns the latest Israeli massacre on the high seas, in international waters, the brutal assault on the international Freedom Flotilla to Gaza on May 31, 2010. The Israeli state terror pirates, said the Front, attacked the humanitarian aid and international solidarity ships with firearms and commandos; the Front said that this is the latest crime against humanity committed by the occupation state, illustrating its blatant disregard for international law.
The Front saluted all of the members of the Freedom Flotilla, particularly the martyrs and wounded, saying that these are martyrs of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause, and of the struggle of people everywhere for liberation, justice and freedom, and will be immortal in our struggle, and that the Flotilla's prisoners are with the prisoners of our Palestinian Arab nation, prisoners of freedom in the hands of a terror occupation state.
It called upon the Palstinian movement in Palestine and in exile and all progressive forces around the world to continue and escalate their actions at Israeli embassies and consulates around the world, including emulating the example of the Turkish people in occupying the Israeli embassy in Anakara, and demanded an immediate end to any so-called indirect or direct negotiations with the murderous regime. 
The Front demanded that all Arab nations end their relations with the occupation state and cut off diplomatic ties, demanding serious international action at an official level to bring the criminal leaders of the occupation state to justice in international courts and severely punish them for their crimes. Furthermore, the Front said that the United States government and all silent and complicit governments bear responsibility for this latest crime as well as all of the ongoing crimes of this occupation state against the Palestinian Arab people.
The Front pledged to hold fast to the examples of these activists, the latest martyrs of the great struggle of people for liberation and return and for justice in the face of an occupier and invader. They shall live on, the PFLP pledged, in the determination and resistance of the Palestinian people to see justice and freedom and end the crimes of the terror state.

Fatah: An act of piracy and a crime against humanity

By the Fatah Foreign Relations Commission
May 31, 2010 -- The Israeli attack against the Gaza Freedom Fleet is piracy and a crime against humanity. At a time when the recent Israeli war crimes against Gaza remains fresh in our memory, Israeli occupation warships attacked today the Freedom Fleet, a flotilla of aid boats manned by dozens of international peace activists, parliamentarians and journalists. Israeli  occupation forces assaulted the fleet while the ships were still in international waters, attempting to reach the Gaza shores to deliver desperately needed humanitarian supplies to the population. This aggression has resulted in the killing and injury of dozens of activists aboard these boats. The Fateh Foreign Relations Commission condemns this heinous crime in the strongest possible way.
The Freedom Fleet was more than 90 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza, well in international waters, when it came under attack from Israeli warships. These illegal Israeli actions are an explicit act of piracy under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. They are also a continuation to persistent Israeli belligerence and impunity and expose the fallacy of Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
It has been nearly four years since Israel, the occupying power, began its illegal, immoral and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip; a blockade that has brought Gaza's economy to a grinding halt and plummeted the socioeconomic living standards of 1.7 million Palestinian civilians. The suffering of the civilian population was further deepened by the brutal, merciless military aggression waged on Gaza by the Israeli occupation.
The international community must act; it cannot remain on the sidelines as Israel continues to flagrantly and blatantly breach international law while innocent lives are lost and the principles of international law are violated. The unfortunate international inaction and silence has emboldened the occupying power to escalate its impunity over time. It is therefore imperative that Israel be compelled, first and foremost, to immediately and completely lift its siege on the Gaza Strip to allow for the movement of persons and goods in order to end the isolation and humanitarian suffering of the Palestinian civilian population.
Furthermore the safe release of the courageous civilian solidarity activists, who were abducted at sea, must be secured. Under international conventions in force, states are obliged to extend their full cooperation to suppress piracy on the high seas or anywhere outside the jurisdiction of any state. As such, we call on all law-abiding states to assume their responsibility in this regard and ensure that the principle of piracy and violence, which Israel has adopted as policy, is combated and confronted.
It is high time that the international community undertake its collective duty to exert the necessary, serious efforts to redress the illegal situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory and bring an end to Israel’s illegal policies and practices. There is no legal, political, moral or human justification for the inhumane policies that Israel is carrying out against the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip.
Peace can never be realised as long as Israel continues to defy the law and remains an unwilling partner in the peace process. The international community therefore must cease its appeasement of such behaviour by Israel and must shoulder its responsibilities to bring about a change of course that will undoubtedly contribute to the realisation of the two-state solution for peace.

Australian government must break ties with murderous Israel

By the Socialist Alliance (Australia) statement
May 31, 2010 -- Socialist Alliance condemns the completely unwarranted and murderous attack by Israel on the civilian Flotilla carrying aid to Gaza.
Media reports on May 31 say that between 16-20 people may have been killed and more than 30 injured after hundreds of masked Israeli commandos stormed the six vessels of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters off the coast of Gaza.
Al Jazeera reported that the ships are being towed by Israeli warships to the port of Haifa, instead of Ashdod, where dozens of journalists were awaiting the Flotilla's arrival.
Protests erupted in Turkey and Gaza immediately, and are being organised around Australia for June 1.
It is not yet clear who from among the hundreds of activists on board the flotilla of ships, many of which were Turkish, has been killed.
Two Australians, among them well-known Sydney Morning Herald journalist Paul McGeough, were on board the flotilla. Their whereabouts is not known.
Not since the French secret service blew up the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour in 1985 has there been such a brazen act of international piracy by a sovereign state. Governments all around the world have condemned the criminal actions of Somali pirates in international waters off the Horn of Africa, and have even sent naval armadas to confront those pirates. The international community must now unreservedly condemn this criminal act of piracy on the high seas, and immediately send an international naval armada to restrain the barbaric actions of the Israeli navy.
We demand the Australian Labor government immediately condemn the killings of unarmed civilians, break off diplomatic relations with Israel and demand that the flotilla is allowed to land unimpeded, and the aid delivered to the people of Gaza.
Most of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza rely on aid – which has been blocked by Israel and Egypt.
The government of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd must demand that the siege of Gaza, imposed in 2007, be lifted immediately and that Israel recognise the democratically elected government of Gaza.
Israel has once again violated international law and must be bought to justice for these and other war crimes.
June 1 protests around Australia Huge protests have broken out in Turkey and the Israeli embassy there has been stormed. There are emergency protests being organised around the world.
Sydney: Tuesday, June 1, 5.30pm, Town Hall, organised by Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine.
Melbourne: Tuesday, June 1, 4.30pm, State Library.
Perth: Tuesday, June 1, 5pm, Wesley Church, cnr William & Hay Sts, Perth. Organised by Friends of Palestine.
Brisbane: Tuesday, June 1, 5-7pm, Brisbane Sq, Cnr Queen and George Sts.
Adelaide: Details coming soon - keep checking back here!
Canberra: Tuesday, June 1, 5pm, outside Israeli embassy, 6 Turrana St, Yarralumla. Plus a rally in Garema Place on Thursday, June 3, 4pm (organised by Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine).
http://www.socialist-alliance.org

PSM: Condemnation of Israel’s attack on humanitarian aid to Gaza

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia
May 31, 2010 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) strongly condemns the attack by Israeli commandos on a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip. The murderous attack has brutally killed up to 10 people and wounded more than 30 people.
The six-ship flotilla, carrying 10, 000 tonnes of humanitarian aid, was an attempt by activists mainly from Turkey to defy a blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since Hamas took power in Palestine in 2007. The blockade by Israel has apparently turned Gaza into the largest concentration camp in the world, with most of the 1.5 million Palestinians living there denied access to the most basic needs such as food, water and medicine.
This is not the first time the US-backed Zionist regime of Israel has commited such atrocities. From December 2008 to January 2009, the Israeli armed force committed a massacre  which killed more than 1400 people and wounded over 5300 people in Gaza over three weeks.
The attack on humanitarian aid to Gaza has again revealed the true nature of the Zionist Israeli state – a racist state founded on the mass expulsion of the Palestinians. The genocidal regime of Israel has been supported by imperialist powers like US and its allies. These imperialist powers are continuing to provide financial support and weapons supply to Israel in order to carry on its siege on Gaza.
The PSM demands that:
  • Israel immediately end the siege of Gaza, and allow all humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip.
  • Governments all over the world condemn the killing of unarmed civilians by Israeli troops and bring Israel to justice for its war crimes.
  • The US and its allies stop all military aid to Israel and impose an arms embargo against Israel.
The PSM extends its solidarity with the people of Palestine as well as people who support the Palestinians’ struggle for justice. A lasting peace in the Middle East will only prevail if justice is upheld for the Palestinian people and imperialism is defeated.
Released by  Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Socialist Party of Malaysia / Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM). Visit our website at: http://parti-sosialis.org/.

People's Democratic Party (Indonesia) condemns Israel's military attack on humanitarian workers

Central Executive Committee, Democratic People's Party (KPP-PRD), Jakarta
June 1, 2010 -- The People's Democratic Party (PRD) strongly condemns [yesterday's] Israeli military action against volunteers delivering aid to the Gaza Strip. As a result of its dishonourable action, at least 19 people have been declared dead and 50 others injured.
Humanitarian volunteers from various countries, approximately 700 activists, were sailing and transporting 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the people in the Gaza Strip, because this area, owned by Palestinians, has been blockaded by the Israeli military.
This cannot be tolerated, whatever the claims of Israeli defence officials. Moreover, the Israeli military has a track record of repeated crimes against the Palestinian and international civil society.
We are also aware that the political policies of Israel share the interests of global imperialism commanded by the United States of America. Israel has long been disrupting world peace, because it does not accept the political sovereignty of the Palestinian people.
The US itself, which has not reacted strongly against today's crime, has become an important ally of Israeli war machine in the Middle East. Note that, every year, the US gives US$4 billion in aid to strengthen the capacity of the Israeli military. That means, that the US has been a proponent of Israel's aggressive wars and other crimes.
We demand there should be no more casualties in this incident. As a follow up, we ask the UN to immediately intervene to stop the evil actions of the Israeli military. We also demand that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and senior Israeli military officials, should be tried in an international human rights court.
These are the main points of our stance:
1. Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono must issue an official statement condemning Israeli military action against human volunteers.
2. Israel must immediately stop the action of blockade and withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip, as well as begin to appreciate the sovereignty of the Palestinian people.
3. The UN Security Council should immediately hold an emergency session and consider the weight to Israeli sanctions.
4. The US should immediately stop military aid to Israel and implement an arms embargo on Israel.
5. We call upon all in the international community to go to Israel's embassies and consulates to protest Israel's latest crime.
[Translation  by Peter Boyle.]

Lift the blockade on Gaza now! An arms embargo on Israel! Philippines must break diplomatic relations with Israel!

By the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Power of the Labouring Masses Party, Philippines)
We strongly condemn the Israeli massacre (19 dead according to latest reports) and attack on unarmed civilians on the Peace flotilla in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against the blockade of Gaza. We join the expressions of outrage of protesters from around the world who have taken to the streets condemning the Israeli terrorist attacks. These terror tactics used by Israel are an example of the far worse treatment that the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation are forced to suffer every day.
We also specifically call on the Philippine government to take a principled and moral stance on the basis of human rights and break all diplomatic relations with Israel. Such a stance, although from a minor player such as the Philippines, will nevertheless send a strong message to governments around the world and will be testimony to our willingness to assert an independent foreign policy position, especially one different from the US.
We demand that:
  • Israel immediately release the political prisoners from the Peace flotilla that it now holds in its jails!
  • Lift the blockade against the people of Gaza!
  • An arms embargo against Israel, now!
  • The imperialist governments, especially the US and Britain which militarily back Israel, stop the sale of military weapons to Israel!
  • The Philippine government, including the government of incoming President Noynoy Aquino, must immediately cut all diplomatic relations with Israel!
  • ASEAN, currently chaired by Vietnam, strongly condemn Israel's terrorist actions! We call on ASEAN to break diplomatic relations with Israel!

Working People's Association (PRP): Stop the violence! Fight Zionism and imperialism!

June 1, 2010 -- The Working People Association of Indonesia condemns the Zionist Israel brutal attack on the humanitarian aid activists, known as Freedom Flotilla. The humanitarian aid was composed of six ships which were carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid. The plan was to bring the aid to Gaza, which has been blockaded since 2007 by Zionist Israel. The blockade has caused misery to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. On those ships were also dozens of journalists, and volunteers from Indonesia. The raid itself has caused dozens of people to die and tens of others injured. Israel has also put in prison other volunteers.
This crime against humanity is one of many crimes which have been perpetrated by the Zionist Israel, which Israel hasn't yet been held responsible. This is also because of the support from the US ruling regime, even from Obama who recently received Nobel Peace Prize. This support is clearly seen from US veto against all UN Security Council resolutions that disadvantage Israel, and how easily Israel can break all resolutions of the UN Security Council. The US has also provided $3 billion support every year since 1985, excluding billions of dollars of military aid which the US provides every year.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's SBY-Budiono regime is not any different as it readily accepts military aid from the US. This includes the latest plan, when Obama visits Indonesia, to reactivate military cooperation between US military and Kopassus (Indonesia's Special Force Command). No matter how brutal the repression which has befallen the people of Palestine, there has never been a stern measure from the SBY-Budiono regime against the Israel and US governments. The SBY-Budiono regime is more concerned about building image through statements of principle, but they never use its political power to genuinely help the liberation of the Palestinian people.
That is why the Working People Association demands:
  • Stop the blockade against the people of Palestine in Gaza.
  • Free all the volunteers and journalists who are in the Freedom Flotilla fleet.
  • Obama to stop military and diplomatic support given by the US to the Zionist Israel.
  • SBY-Budiono demand the UN bring Zionist Israel to the International Human Rights Tribunal for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
  • Support and call for the building of international solidarity to fight against Zionist Israel and US imperialist regime.
The Working People Association sends its solidarity to the people of Palestine, and also reaffirms our commitment to build an international solidarity and support the genuine independence of the people of Palestine.
Socialism, the true liberation for working people!
Socialism, the solution for the global crisis of capitalism!
Unite, build the working-class party!
Signed:
Central Committee, Working People Association,
National chairperson, Anwar Ma'ruf,
General secretary, Rendro Prayogo

South African civil society outraged at Israeli massacre

Issued by the Coalition for a Free Palestine (South Africa)
May 31, 2010 -- The under-mentioned civil society organisations, including the Palestine solidarity movement in South Africa and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, are outraged by the massacre committed by Israeli forces this morning, in flagrant violation of international maritime law.
At 04:30 this morning, in international waters, Israeli navy commandos invaded an international humanitarian aid boat, Mavi Marmara, which was part of an aid flotilla travelling to the Gaza Strip. The troops killed at least 19 civilians of the aid convoy and injured dozens more. The attack was a direct violation of international law and reflects the Israelis’ arrogant and flagrant disregard for law and human rights.
The convoy of ships was carrying 750 people from 40 different countries including 35 international politicians, members of parliament, former diplomats, human rights activists, aid workers and journalists and was destined for the Gaza port of Rafah later this afternoon. The flotilla carried essential aid material, such as medication, construction material, toys, workbooks, chocolate and pasta to Gaza. The entry of all these materials into Gaza has been banned by Israel. It is widely accepted that Israel's imposition of the now four year long siege on the Gaza strip is a crime against humanity. This view is supported by the recent UN Report by South African Judge, Richard Goldstone.
According to the UN, Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in January 2009 damaged or destroyed at least 11,000 houses, 105 factories, 20 hospitals and clinics, and 159 schools, universities, play schools and technical institutions. Further, 1,400 people were killed, some 51,800 were displaced, and 20,000 remain homeless to this day because Israel will not allow construction material into the besieged territory.
By sailing directly to Gaza, outside of Israeli waters, the flotilla was attempting to break the siege which is in violation of Article 33 of the Geneva Convention which clearly states that collective punishment is a crime against humanity.South Africans will from today be joining the call to demonstrate support for the courageous women and men on the flotilla and to mourn the loss of those murdered on their humanitarian aid mission. We demand that, until Israel acts in accordance with international law, releases all political prisoners, and lifts the siege on Gaza, the South African government:
  • immediately recalls the South African ambassador to Tel Aviv;
  • expel the Israeli ambassador back to Israel;
  • sever all diplomatic relations with Israel; and
  • support the international campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the apartheid Israel state.
This statement is supported by:
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU)
Palestine Solidarity Committee
Palestine Solidarity Group
Palestine Solidarity Alliance
Muslim Judicial Council
Muslim Youth Movement

COSATU condemns Israeli state piracy

May 31, 2010 -- The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is outraged at the murder by Israeli commandos' of at least 20 people -- and injuries to a further 60 -- as a result of their armed attack on a convoy of ships carrying aid to the people of Gaza last night.
COSATU sends its condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and calls upon the people of the world to condemn this act of Israeli state-sponsored piracy.
The six-ship flotilla, with 750 Palestine solidarity activists from around the world on board and carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid for the people of Gaza, left Cyprus on Sunday and had been due to arrive in Gaza today.
Then, when it was about 64 km out to sea, in international waters, Israeli armed forces boarded the largest vessel and fought with those on board. The activists say Israeli troops came on board shooting. Israel is now reported to be towing the boats to the port of Ashdod and says it will deport the passengers from there.
The ships were bringing the people of Gaza 10,000 tonnes of badly needed concrete, toys, workbooks, chocolate, pasta and substantial medical supplies. It was acting in accordance with international law.
COSATU fully supports the call on the international community to pressure their governments to condemn this brutal deed and hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid.
The federation welcomes the decision by the government of Spain and Sweden to withdraw their ambassadors from Israel and calls upon the South African government to follow their lead.
The flotilla was an international response to the plight of the people of Gaza, following Israel's closure of the border. Amnesty International in their Annual Human Rights Report concluded that the siege has "deepened the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law."
The United Nations has continuously stated that only a fraction of the required aid is entering Gaza due to what it calls "the medieval siege". John Ging, the director of UNRWA in Gaza, has specifically expressed the need for the flotilla to enter Gaza.
The European Union's new foreign affairs minister, Catherine Ashton, has just reiterated its call for, "an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza".
COSATU also calls for greater support for the international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign against Israel, which is proving again to be violent and ruthless in attacking and murdering those who stand in its way. We urge all South Africans to refuse to buy or handle any goods from Israel or have any dealings with Israeli businesses.
COSATU reaffirms its support of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to national sovereignty and the same human rights as any other people. We demand the immediate end to the Israeli siege and the illegal occupation of the sovereign territory which has been violently seized from the Palestinian nation.
Issued by Patrick Craven (national spokesperson), Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Socialist Party USA: Statement on the IDF attack on the Gaza aid flotilla

Statement by the SPUSA co-chairs
May 31, 2010 -- As co-chairs of the Socialist Party USA we condemn the attack by the Israeli Defence Forces on the unarmed humanitarian aid boat The Spirit of Humanity. The boat was carrying desperately needed aid supplies meant to break the inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza. The death of at least 10 people, the injuring of dozens and the arrest of 20 stands as one of the most egregious attacks on humanitarian workers ever.
We join the activist group Viva Palestina in calling for the immediate release of those arrested so that they may continue their mission. We join the international community, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in calling for an immediate end the blockade of Gaza. Finally, as Americans, we demand an immediate end to all military aid provided by the US government to Israel.
Andrea Pason
Co-chair, Socialist Party USA
Billy Wharton
Co-chair, Socialist Party USA

Sinn Féin: There must be consequences for Israel’s murderous attack on humanitarian aid flotilla

May 31, 2010 -- Sinn Féin TD [parliamentarian] Aengus Ó Snodaigh, who had hoped to be on board the Free Gaza Flotilla which was attacked by the Israeli Army overnight leaving at least sixteen people dead, has described the attack as cold and calculated.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said there must be action from the International Community and called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to summon the Israeli Ambassador and expel him from the Country.
Speaking this morning Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
It looks as though this cold and calculated attack took place in international waters, in breach of all international maritime laws. There must be action from the international community.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mícheál Martin must summon the Israeli Ambassador and expel him from the Country. Furthermore the preferential trade agreement with Israel must be ended.
This was a humanitarian aid mission carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid to the besieged city of Gaza. The blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law.
At all stage of preparations to join the flotilla the organisers reiterated non-violent and peaceful resistance to any boarding by Israeli army. The Israelis had nothing to fear from this flotilla.
The attack has left up to 20 dead and fifty injured 10,000 tons of much needed aid wasted.
My thoughts are with the families of those who died. They were courageous men and women as was each and every person on the flotilla.
Horror at the loss of life on Gaza aid convoy
Sinn Féin MEP [member of the European Parliament] Bairbre de Brún has expressed her horror at the loss of life resulting from an Israeli commando attack on a flotilla of boats carrying aid to Gaza, saying nothing could justify the storming of the aid ships. Ms de Brún said:
The Israeli government has compounded its illegal actions in blockading Gaza with this horrifying attack on the flotilla carrying aid. Nothing can justify the commando storming of these aid ships.
The EU must suspend its preferential trade agreement with Israel and ensure that it can only be re-instated if Israel ends its blatant disregard for international law and basic human rights.
The blockade of Gaza is contrary to international law yet Israel persists in denying people there the basic necessities to run their economy and their daily lives. Now they have compounded this denial of basic rights with an armed commando attack on the flotilla carrying aid to Gaza by sea.
I am horrified by the loss of life in this morning’s commando attack on the aid flotilla and call on the EU to take the strongest possible action in response.Ifthe EU stands by yet again and allows such actions to go unpunished then we forfeit any right to talk to others on the international stage about respect for human rights
I am calling for all who wish to show their outrage at this attack on a humanitarian convoy to attend the protest today at Belfast City Hall at 4pm.

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