Tuesday June 23, 2009
The International Palestinian Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza, along with a network of other civil associations, stressed the importance of united efforts at such times for the widest Arab and international solidarity possible. This is in order to pressure the Israeli occupation forces to stop their constant aggressions against the Palestinian fishermen in the Strip, and for the latter to fish in Gaza seas securely and freely.
This call was initiated by a member of the committee and the coordinator of the solidarity campaign with the fishermen in the Gaza Strip, Mahfouz el Kabarity. El Kabarity's call was expressed in a meeting in Rimani today [June 23, 2009] between Arab and Italian fishermen in solidarity with fishermen in the Strip that occurred via phone from Gaza. Many fishermen associations and syndicates attended the event where photos and video footage were displayed and which show the siege and occupation's affect on the fishermen and the limited distance they are forced not to trespass.
Kabarity offered a full explanation about the influences of the siege and blockade in addition to the disallowing of appropriate and necessary fishing equipment to enter the Strip. This, Kabarity said, would obstruct and negatively affect the fishing industry in specific, and on the Palestinian industry in general. More so, Kabarity spoke about what the Palestinian fishermen are subject to and the violations of their natural right to fish in their own waters which is mentioned in international treaties and agreements.
Furthermore, Kabarity expressed his admiration for the international solidarity workers, and to Vittorio the Italian and internationals who accompanied the fishermen and who were subject to abduction and arrest by the occupation forces' naval gunboats. They were deported to their homeland and insisted on coming back in to break the siege and live with the Palestinian people and share their strife.
Kabarity called upon the international community to reveal the unjust reality that the fishermen are subject to. He called upon the world to stand by the Palestinians and break the siege, along with opening of the crossings, and for the Palestinian to live freely in dignity.
On their behalf, the Arab and Italian fishermen expressed their unquestionable solidarity with the fishermen in Gaza, condemning the acts and violations of the occupation forces. They expressed admiration for the endurance and resistance of fishermen in confronting such a reality, and spoke of the necessity of lifting the siege, and relieving the Palestinians from their suffering as a result. In addition, they called for the protection of the fishermen while working at sea.
It is important to note that this is but one activity in a series of activities to be launched by the international solidarity workers in coordination with the International Palestinian Campaign to Break the Siege, in cooperation with the Palestinian fishermen unions, associations and syndicates.