“Coalition to Break the Blockade on Gaza Announced”

Istanbul, Turkey –

Following months of preparation, a coalition bringing together a number of organizations and movements working to break Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza was announced yesterday in Istanbul.  

The coalition, comprised of the Turkey-based IHH (Insani
Yardim Vakfi) organization, the European Campaign to End the Siege on
Gaza (ECESG), the Greek Ship to Gaza campaign, the Swedish Ship to
Gaza campaign and the Free Gaza Movement, will launch a flotilla of
ships laden with cargo, media, parliamentarians, celebrities and
activists to Gaza next month.

The flotilla will be composed of at least eight vessels, including
three cargo ships, and will set sail from European ports starting on
May 3, reaching the port of Gaza later in the month.  Over 500
passengers from more than 20 countries will take part, and over 5,000
tons of cargo, including cement, prefabricated housing, other building
materials, medical equipment, and educational supplies will be
delivered to Palestinians in Gaza.

The Free Gaza Movement has been launching ships to Gaza since August
2008, partnering with organizations and activists around the world on
these missions.  In December 2009, IHH led a land convoy to Gaza that
brought tons of humanitarian aid and other supplies.  In January 2010
the European Campaign brought 50 parliamentarians to Gaza in
solidarity with the Palestinian people and to witness the devastation
wrought by Israel’s illegal policies.  Ship to Gaza/Greece and Ship to
Gaza/Sweden meanwhile have had ongoing campaigns in their countries to
raise awareness and funds for this effort and for materials to be
brought to Gaza.

“Through this coalition, these organizations will be able to maximize
resources, experience and commitment to ending the illegal siege on
Gaza.  Even as Israel continues its daily persecution of Palestinians,
we will use this action to wake the world’s consciousness about the
crimes committed against Palestinians,” said IHH President Bulent
Yildirim.

The coalition invites organizations and individuals from around the
world to join the effort by providing supplies for Gaza and
contributing financial support for the mission.

Contact:

Irish Free Gaza Coordinator  -  niamh@freegaza.org    +353 91 472279/085 7747257
Free Gaza Movement – Greta Berlin - +33607374512; www.freegaza.org
ECESG – Mazen Kahel - +33 1 46 81 12 92; www.savegaza.eu
IHH – Ahmet Emin Dag – +90 530 341 1934; www.ihh.org.tr
Ship to Gaza / Greece – Vangelis Pissias - +30 697 200 9339; www.shiptogaza.gr
Ship to Gaza / Sweden – Dror Feiler - +46702855777; www.shiptogaza.se

“When our governments are impotent in the face of massive human rights abuses, we – the citizens of the world must take action”  

Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement
“The Free Gaza Movement has succeeded in breaking the siege of Gaza.  From the groundbreaking work of Ghandi and King to the ongoing example of the Free Gaza Movement, we can discern the transforming power of nonviolence at a crossroads in history”   
Miguel Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly 

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