More than a hundred MEPs from all European political groups have signed an open letter to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini to call EU countries to fully support peaceful actions of the Freedom Flotilla, to ask from Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza, and to take steps towards ensuring that Israel fulfills its responsibilities in the international community.
The initiative has been announced to the press today by MEPs Martina Anderson (Sinn Fein), Josu Juaristi (EH Bildu), Miguel Urban (Podemos), Angela Vallina (IU) and Jordi Sebastia (Compromís).
“Within the last eight years Gaza has been subjected to three large military onslaughts by Israel,” Martina Anderson, Member of the European Parliament for the Nordic Green Left, said. “The Gaza strip is some of the most densely populated urban areas; it is blockaded by land, air and sea by Israel,” “There is little wonder as to why Gaza is described as the world’s largest open air prison.” “The many thousands of people who protested in Ireland and across Europe against Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, almost a year ago, illustrate clearly the solidarity of the people to Palestine and their rejection of Israel’s blockade and occupation. As an Irish MEP I share this solidarity to Palestine and the outrage at the actions of Israel. The blockade has to stop. The Freedom Flotilla must be allowed into Gaza to begin to alleviate the suffering of the people there.”
Spanish MEP Estefania Torres, who joined the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) as it set sail from its final European port in Greece, said: “I decided to participate in this third Flotilla because we, as European representatives, cannot be silent while Gaza suffers the dramatic consequences of the eight-year long blockade”.
Spanish MEP Ángela Vallina: “The most outrageous thing is not only the existence of a racist-led Government in Israel, but also that it is backed by inaction from the USA as well as from the EU. The latter bears a strong responsibility on this issue: keep in mind that EU is Israel’s main economic partner along with certain member states (up to €30 billion per year of commercial exchanges); Israel has been obtaining economic privileges since 1994. It is our responsibility to cut them off; the sooner the better.
For Basque MEP Iosu Juaristi Abaunz: “It is time for the continuous solidarity of the European citizens towards the rights of the Palestinian people, to be reflected properly in European politics. Basque and European society require this. The Freedom Flotilla is a peaceful and humanitarian mission, and it should be able to reach Gaza. The blockade and the occupation must end.”
MEPs held a rally in support of the Freedom Flotilla.