Open Letter « Open borders to Gaza »

|Paola Manduca |Tribunes

The open letter originated in late June, after a long permanence in Gaza. The devastating impact of Egyptian blockade on top of the Israeli’s occupation and control was already so biting in spring that prompted us to look for rapid and effective means to stop the blockade and allow for people freedom of movement, commerce, study and cure. Gaza was already a sinking economy then. The call was started by Italian people and associations, aiming to bring it rapidly to the Italian presidency of the European Parliament and is presently extending to the other EU countries.

On 27 June, BEFORE the start of the escalation and massive attack of July 7 by Israel, we had posted the open letter here resubmitted, called « Palestine is under attack », signed by some 200 organizations, communities and people .

We demanded that Europe urgently put in place arrangements for surveillance of the border which has existed since 2005, with an appropriate European instrument, the EUBAM (European border surveillance at Rafa) still in force, and vigorously promotes the opening and rehabilitation of the port of Gaza.

In the first week, the signatures of associations and people in Italy become 700, a sign that many understood what was going to happen.

We did not get answers to our letter and request of consideration from any of the members of the Italian Parliament ; the Vatican secretariat of state sent a polite letter of solidarity referring to the appeal from the Pope to promote peace in the Holy Land at the end of the Angelus prayer on Sunday, July 13.

Today, August 2nd, we decided to ask that Majors of the main town in Italy would join us to pressure the Institutions in Italy, as now Italy has the temporary Presidence of EU. In so doing, we actualized our previous open letter.

Our concerns were well founded on 27 June, including the considering false the « reasons » for attacks in the West Bank and the for initial bombing of Gaza, that the kidnapping was not attributable to Hamas is now accepted.

What we could not imagine, however, was targeted killings even of children, destruction under pretexts, never proved true, of hospitals and universities.

It was unimaginable that entire neighborhoods of civilian homes could be destroyed with a few minutes’ notice, with the excuse to destroy from within Gaza a network of tunnels that are easily dug in the sandy soil (as was already the case when Gaza was besieged by Alexander the Great in 335 BC) and have ensured the survival of the Gaza people during this new long siege ; destruction of these under the territory is impossible. More realistically, as taught by the Egyptians who have done so efficiently, it would have made sense to destroy their outputs in Israeli territory.

To state for more than two weeks that the ground mission of IOF was to destroy the tunnels from Gaza was just yet another provocation and tested, successful, the idiocy and prejudices of the Israeli Allies, was a falsehood for the use of propaganda. In fact, today, it was stated that in spite of the destruction of tunnels is over (sic) Israel will continue the actions of war.

We could not imagine that we would hear again and again that the Israeli army is the most moral in the world, it is highly technological, it knows who to shoot and does not EVER intentionally attack civilians, let alone children. Regardless of the fact that 80% or more of the victims are civilians (UN). We could not imagine that we would hear again and again that all of them have been, together with 1,800,000 inhabitants of Gaza, all « human shields, » and that it was their fault if Israel has slaughtered them in their sleep, at home, or that this is because Hamas plays hide and seek and puts weapons in UNRWA shelters, playgrounds, in hospitals, even under the University and the Centers for people with disabilities, under and inside too many Mosques (80), and even churches which were destroyed, and ALL the houses in Sulhaja, Rafah, Kanyunes, and even in the containers of reserve fuel and in the engine of the only power plant, and in the only slaughterhouse, in the treatment plants of sewage, cement factory etc…..

We believe that with this list we have only alluded to the indiscriminate death of a people, not just the individual victims of these days, the dead and serious injuried, but those who survive them, and that they have nothing else to do but to accept the food and electricity and water directly and indirectly from the hands of the executioners, including European states that arm, favor economically, in military alliances and research and development, Israel. And all the Arab countries that have abandoned Gaza or even have made possible or encouraged the massacre.

Perhaps the real mission of Israeli in Gaza is the promise made in November 2012 : « We will reduce Gaza to the Middle Ages ; only then will there be peace for 30 years. »

A mission like this cannot be « mentioned, is unspeakable » and contrary to all international laws and conventions, but it corresponds well to the fact that the official justification of the attack keeps changing : the punishment of Hamas for a kidnapping that it did not, punishment of Hamas for answering to Israeli attacks with missiles, which at the beginning were not launched by Hamas but by other factions, destruction of weapons of Hamas, destruction of the tunnel of Hamas (or Alexander the Great ?), and yesterday’s punishment because Hamas has taken a captive soldier (but Hamas denied and turned out dead in battle), until today that says that they will stop when they deem it appropriate. ... but may be Hamas is an EXCUSE for a genocide desired, managed and programmed with silent consent of the allies, and that the propaganda of that Israeli is « good » toward children and was studied theoretically and published in a booklet, serves to get Israeli hands free on and to throw dust in the eyes of public opinion ?

This propaganda is taken for good even by those who should know better, and more, those who abstain voting motions condemning Israeli at the UN, but cry and cry, but only « humanitarian cries » about children victims. The same subjects, the Europeans, make appeals for peace, but do not do what they can and should do, as parliamentary representatives, to preserve the freedom and autonomy of the Palestinian people, with simple actions, binding and concrete, in order to take a step after an other, to help them to exist, free.

More than ever today, with the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the opening of the border with Egypt becomes essential, and it is imperative for Europe to honor the agreements already signed in 2005 and proceed with the Gaza Harbor project.


Genoa, June 27, 2014

Open letter to Institutions of the Italian Government, to the President of the Republic and prime Minister, Minister of Exterior Affairs, Governmental commissions, Vatican and Catholic personalities, Valdese church and Islam personalities. And to the people of many associations for solidarity with Palestine and human rights.

This open letter reaches you at a time when Italy takes on the responsibility of President for the semester in Europe and in a moment when Europe has the opportunity to implement virtuous actions to liberate Gaza from the complete block to which it is subjected, by putting in place the arrangements of surveillance of the border that was deliberated since 2005 with an appropriate European instrument, the EUBAM (European border surveillance at Rafa) and could vigorously promote the opening and rehabilitation of the port of Gaza as seaborne commerce and trade window on the world, also this an European project, approved and funded in 2000 and never implemented.

Even just implement these projects that have already been approved, « automatically » would make possible the communication between the two parts of Palestine.

Freedom of movement, of ministers, of people, of goods between the two parts of the Palestinian state would be a lifeline to grow in its economic autonomy and dignity.

The strong support that the Christian and Muslims personalities have for the peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Middle East indices us to send to representatives of these Faiths our request for continued attention and support for people who suffer and should be sustained in continuing to defend against aggression and collective punishment in the most constructive possible, supporting the possibility of being released from occupation, fragmentation, and blockades.

For our part, we will support our open letter by opening an online petition *, and especially supporting the ongoing debate and factual information.

In the attempt to make to become the Palestinian liberation a central issue for Italy, Europe and that the attention of the Faiths will not be extinguished.

- For signatures please write a mail to palestinasottoattacco chez outlook.it

https://www.facebook.com/events/608445575929498/

Palestine is under attack

Palestine is under attack not only military, which preoccupies all for the lives of the Palestinians and the further loss of their structures.

Palestine is under attack by Israel because it resists as an autonomous reality.

Palestine is under attack in order to prove the « impossibility of its existence. »

In the moment of reconciliation between the factions that govern the West Bank and Gaza, an attempt to unify the political territory of Palestine, and to find a ’political self-representation at the UN, to liberate Gaza from the blockade (made even more unbearable by the block of movement of people and goods from Egypt under Sissi), when Palestinians claim the illegality of administrative detention and of the abductions and defend the land in Jerusalem and the West Bank, when Palestinians plan to develop economic independence, Israel deploys military attacks by ground forces and with disproportionate use of force against civilians in the West Bank, with more than 400 administrative detentions, causes endless aggressions towards Palestinians in Jerusalem and bombs and makes land incursions in Gaza.

This operation that the State of Israel called « our brother’s keepers » is « justified » by the disappearance of three young Israeli reservists in the territory under full Israeli control in the West Bank.

There is no evidence of those who have contributed to the disappearance, unclaimed by any Palestinian faction.

In any civilized country, a disappearance is a case of police investigation and not the reason for mass imprisonment on political basis, of invasion and offences in thousands of civilian homes, of killings of unarmed people, bombing of areas of Palestinian territory under siege and out and that in which the death occurred.

This is nothing else than an operation, probably preordained, of collective punishment for Palestinians when they have reached a political agreement and present themselves as a state in the international community.
This operation is used to physically destroy a faction-party (Hamas) and require the surrender of the other faction-party (Fatha), the two protagonists of the internal dissent that had previously lead to the creation of two separate governments in Gaza and the West Bank.

This operation is used to impose by force the opposition of the Israeli government to the Palestinian national reconciliation.

It ’s an operation whose size and development leads to fear that will continue to grow in level and in violence.

The West Bank killings, the invasion by ground forces with tanks, over flights, the violent invasions of homes, indiscriminate arrests of civilians, harassments, re-arrest of freed prisoners, menace of force feeding those on hunger strike , the free hand left to the settlers violence, accompany the daily bombings of Gaza, the attack to its fishermen, over flight with F16, which well recall the beginning of the attacks of 2008 and 2012.

We are close to the Palestinians who are the victims, and who have committed themselves as actors in the difficult process of building a national unity, and we tell our National Governments and the European Government that we are opposed to their complicity with the illegal actions of Israel.

We want to break the silence that reigns over the assault in progress.

The silence and / or connivance of the international community gives a green light to Israel to impose on the ground with fear and with its army the request to the National Authority in Ramallah to break the agreement of reunification.

The silence and / or connivance of the international community is the free pass to continue the illegal detention and harassment of prisoners, to continue the blockade of Gaza and the policy of settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and harassment.

We fear that it is also the green light to make true old and new threats on Gaza : « We will reduce Gaza to the Middle Ages », « next time we will attack you so that you will not have time to respond » (after November 2012) and on the entire Palestine : « we will eliminate all the green (Hamas green flags) from the region. »

The Palestinians are resisting united - but the image of people in solidarity from all over the world, standing next to them, will be encouraging and give strength to the Palestinian people in its struggle against a cruel occupier.

To support the Palestinian people under attack, we ask for a strong, just and decisive ruling of our National Governments and of the European institutions. And for a message form the personalities of Faith, loud, clean and clear.

We demand that the representatives of the Italian and European Institutions will take responsibility for the protection of the process of development of the reunited nation and State of Palestine, according to international law.

We ask that in the wider international context they take position for the ’autonomy of the Palestinian State and against the occupation of the West Bank and the continued expansion of Israeli settlements, for the liberation of Gaza from the land and sea blockade, for the end of administrative detention of Palestinians and of their abduction to Israel and for a clear status for Jerusalem.

We ask that the European governments implement economic sanctions against Israel demanding its respect for international law, UN resolutions and the Geneva Convention.

We call on the representatives of the Faiths that they condemn the crimes against humanity and crimes against civilians that Israel commits with impunity towards the Palestinian people, and spread in their communities the solidarity with the suffering of an entire people.

List of signatures in the attached pdf file.

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