Palestine Center Condemns Attack on Aid BoatsTuesday, June 1, 2010
Palestine Center Condemns Attack on Aid
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Yousef Munayyer
WASHINGTON, D.C. (1 June 2010) – The Palestine Center condemns in the strongest terms the killing of civilian activists aboard aid boats destined for blockaded Gaza at the hands of Israeli commandos which took place Sunday evening.
The aid boats were part of a "Freedom Flotilla", an internationally organized movement which included hundreds of civilians from across the globe who sought to bring 10,000 tones of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. While in international waters, the boats were boarded by heavily armed Israel commandos and the ensuing confrontation left several of the civilian activists dead. Varied reports over the past two days have placed the number of killed between 10 and 20 and the injured between 30 and 80. The ships and their passengers have been taken to Israeli ports and Israel has yet to release complete details on the dead and injured.
The Palestine Center mourns the loss of the activists who took it upon themselves to raise awareness about the injustice of the siege in Gaza. Yousef Munayyer, the Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center, said, "These brave souls recognized that when governments fail to take action to stop injustice, as is the case in Gaza, the common people must take up the task of creating change. In this effort to raise awareness about the debilitating collective punishment of Gaza civilians, several activists laid down their lives."
Munayyer added, "The government of Israel must immediately end the siege of Gaza. The siege has benefitted no one and the collective punishment of civilians is a crime under international law."
The Palestine Center calls on the international community to demand an immediate investigation of the killings in international waters and to hold the perpetrators accountable. Furthermore, the Palestine Center calls on civil society to redouble their efforts to end the collective punishment of the people of Gaza and the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
For more information, call 202-338-1290 or visit www.palestinecenter.org.
The Palestine Center is an independent think-tank committed to communicating reliable and objective information about the Palestinian political experience to American policy makers, journalists, students and the general public. Established in 1991, it is the educational program of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development.
The Palestine Center brings together people and resources within the American and Palestinian communities to educate about Palestine and the Palestinian people's ongoing quest for sovereignty on their land, civil and political rights and an end to Israeli occupation.
The need for an organization such as The Palestine Center can be found in the effects of the economic, cultural and political oppression Palestinians have endured and which continues on a daily basis in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the surrounding refugee camps and for Palestinians world-wide as they struggle to retain their homeland.
Palestinians' ability to maintain their daily lives and strengthen their democratic political system depends on international humanitarian and non-governmental organizations such as The Palestine Center.