THERE WILL BE HOPE IN GAZA
- THERE WILL BE HOPE IN GAZA
(LARNACA, 23 September 2008) - The Free Gaza Movement announced today
that an international delegation of doctors, parliamentarians, and
human rights workers will sail to Gaza aboard the "Hope" on Thursday,
September 25th at about 10 a.m, (ETA Gaza Friday 10 am). A press
conference will be held on Thursday at Larnaca Port prior to
The passengers on board include:
v Five physicians from 4 countries
v Human rights lawyers and monitors
v Jamal Zahalka, a member of the Israeli Knesset
v Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestinian
National Initiative, and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council
v Mairead Maguire, winner of 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for work in
According to Maguire, a world-renowned human rights campaigner, "This
mission carries with it the hopes and wishes of many people around
On August 23, two of the Free Gaza Movement's boats, the Free Gaza
and the Liberty arrived in Gaza Port to the jubilation of tens of
thousands of Palestinians gathered there. It was the first time in
over forty years that international ships had docked in Gaza Port.
Since Israel tightened its blockade two years ago, malnutrition and
unemployment rates in Gaza have soared. In May 2008, several
international aid organizations, including CARE International UK,
CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, and Medecins du Monde UK, stated
that, "the stranglehold on Gaza's borders has made ... the work of
the UN and other humanitarian agencies ... virtually impossible.
Only a trickle of medicine, food, fuel and other goods is being
allowed in making people highly dependent on food aid, and [it has]
brought the health system and basic services, such as water and
sanitation near to collapse."
Huwaida Arraf, delegation spokesperson and a law lecturer at Al-Quds
University in Jerusalem, said, "The world cannot stay silent as the
Palestinian people are deliberately starved and humiliated;
Palestinians have a right to life with dignity. Last month, on August
23rd, our two, small, wooden boats, the Free Gaza and Liberty, sailed
to Gaza and did what our governments would not do - we defied
Israel's illegal collective punishment of 1.5 million men, women and
children living in the Gaza Strip. On September 25th, we're sailing
back to Gaza to challenge it again. Our boats are very humble, but
what they represent is hope, and hope is what mobilizes change the
The "Hope" was named in recognition of St. Augustine, who wrote
that "Hope is the greatest of all virtues, even greater than Love.
For Love only teaches us what should be, while Hope teaches us what
Palestinian National Initiative
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP on board the ship "Hope"
Ramallah, 23-09-08: Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP, the General Secretary
of the Palestinian National Initiative, will participate as a crew
member of the 'Hope', the new Free Gaza Boat that will sail to Gaza
on Wednesday 24th September to challenge the Israeli blockade on the
'It is an honor to be part of a movement that will bring concrete
support to the Gazans, showing them international solidarity', said
To the Deputy, 'it is an essential campaign to raise awareness, and
confirm that we are all part of the same movement to break the siege
By participating, Dr. Barghouthi is aiming to show his solidarity
with the Gazans and his commitment to unity amongst the Palestinians:
people and territories.
As an independent figure, Mustafa Barghouthi has always been
advocating for the Palestinian Unity and internal peace, aiming to
bridge the divisions between the West Bank and Gaza. Dr. Barghouthi
has often played a key role in mediating to secure the formation of a
national unity government. Therefore, the Deputy highlighted that
this action 'also aims to tighten the links between the Strip and the
Dr. Barghouthi will be part of the crew, along with an international
delegation of doctors, parliamentarians, and human rights workers.
Barghouthi has a long term commitment to anti-occupation activities,
supporting non-violent resistance actions to achieve peace. He has
been an outspoken critic of the siege on Gaza and has made countless
calls for it to be ended immediately. Dr Barghouthi has made the
siege on Gaza a key priority in his numerous meetings with foreign
delegations and diplomatic representatives.
As the Deputy enjoys credibility both within the Palestinian society
and on an international level, he hopes to provide great visibility
to the Free Gaza action.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi:
00972 (0) 599/ 201 528 (Palestine)
00962 (0) 796/ 767 107 (Jordan)
00357 (0) 997/ 56 206 (Cyprus)
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