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    THERE WILL BE HOPE IN GAZA Press Release freegaza.org (LARNACA, 23 September 2008) - The Free Gaza Movement announced today that an international delegation of
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2008
      Press Release

      (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
      the world."

      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┬ůmaking 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
      world around."

      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
      will be."

      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
      the Deputy.

      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
      West Bank.'

      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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