On 30 March 2018 the people of Gaza launched a mass nonviolent campaign to obtain their basic human rights.
Seventy percent of Gaza’s population comprises refugees expelled by Israel and denied repatriation. More than half of the population comprises children. Gaza is among the most densely populated places in the world.
Since 1967, Gaza has been suffering under a brutal Israeli occupation. For more than a decade, this occupation has been exacerbated by an inhuman, immoral and illegal blockade. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the blockade as collective punishment in breach of international law.
A major United Nations report by New York State judge Mary McGowan Davis called on Israel to lift the blockade “immediately and unconditionally,” while the European Parliament overwhelmingly called for an “immediate and unconditional end to the blockade.”
Expulsion. Occupation. Blockade. And massacre.
Since 2004, Israel has launched no less than eight “operations” against Gaza.
Four years ago, Israel unleashed Operation Protective Edge. Peter Maurer, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, observed after visiting Gaza: “I’ve never seen such massive destruction ever before.”
Gaza now stands at a crossroads.
The United Nations reports that Gaza has become literally “unlivable.” Fully 97 percent of Gaza’s water is contaminated. Sara Roy of Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies has observed: “Innocent human beings, most of them young, are slowly being poisoned by the water they drink, and likely by the soil in which they plant.”
Gazans are now determined to peacefully reclaim their basic human rights.
Israel alleges that it is protecting its side of a “border fence.” But does this fence demarcate a border, as if between two sovereign states?
Already back in 2003, Hebrew University sociologist Baruch Kimmerling described Gaza as “the biggest concentration camp ever.” Israel’s respected newspaper Haaretz called Gaza a “ghetto.” Former British prime minister David Cameron called Gaza an “an open-air prison.”
Gazans are not attempting to breach a “border fence.”
They are trying peacefully to break out of a “concentration camp,” a “ghetto,” an “open-air prison,” that is trapping two million Gazans, half of whom are children, in an “unlivable” space, where they are “slowly being poisoned.”
Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman has declared that “there are no innocent people” in Gaza. Israeli snipers have already killed scores of unarmed civilians and injured thousands of others. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has called on Israeli soldiers to “refuse to shoot protesters in Gaza.” According to Amnesty International, “Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them.”
Show your support for the people of Gaza as, week after week, they march nonviolently into the Valley of Death in order to be free.