GALWAY - Thurs 20th August, Public meeting at the Imperial Hotel @ 8pm
DUBLIN -Mon 24th August, Public meeting & press conference, Central Hotel @ 7pm
Derek & Jenny are available for interview - 086 3403689 or contact Niamh 085 7747257 to arrange.
Derek & Jenny Graham from Mayo, are here to get Irish support to bring in desperately needed rebuilding materials into the port of Gaza along with supplies for our partners in the Universities and schools as part of “Right to Read” campaign.
Derek was thrown in jail along with 20 others including Mairead Maguire as they tried to deliver building supplies and aid to civillians in Gaza who's homes, schools, hospitals were destroyed by the Israel at start of the year. Seven months later and families are still living on the rubble of their homes with no materials to fix the damage and the winter is now approaching.
It is crucial that we continue sending boats to Gaza to challenge Israel’s criminal closure on the Strip,” said Huwaida Arraf, delegation leader.'“Gaza does not need our charity but needs us to stand up against the forces that continue to deliberately deny an entire people their human rights. "
Even though Israel hijacked our boat, the Spirit of Humanity in international waters, we are not backing down.
Since August last year the Free Gaza Movement have organized 8 voyages to Gaza successfully arriving in the port of Gaza on 5 occasions, ours are the first international ship to sail to Gaza since 1967.
International donors pledged over $4 billion to rebuild Gaza, and yet none of them are doing anything about the fact that Israel is not allowing any building supplies into Gaza, not to mention coffee, tea, paper, school books, toys for children and thousands of other items.
We need to raise a substantial sum of money and engage in considerable outreach over the next few weeks in order to be able to send the next mission before the weather changes and the Mediterranean Sea starts becoming unpredictable." said Huwaida in recent interview.
Seven months after the end of Israel’s military operations in Gaza, 850,000 people in Gaza still rely on the United Nations for food and there is a total absence of meaningful reconstruction according to a cross party delegation from the Oireachtas Foreign and European Affairs Committees who visited the area last week.
The Deputies met Irishman Mr. John Ging the Agency’s Head of Mission in Gaza, they saw for themselves the appalling humanitarian effects Israel’s military action and persistent refusal to end its blockade is having on the people of Gaza.
Based on what they observed, the delegation has called for the immediate opening of crossings into Gaza for unimpeded humanitarian aid and reconstruction materials.
The Free Gaza Movement calls upon the international community to join the movement's efforts to help end the human suffering created by Israeli's strangulation of Gaza. We urge governments, non-governmental organizations and civilians to help alleviate the suffering and provide ships, materials, heath care professionals, lawyers and other forms of humanitarian aid immediately and join us in asserting the right of the Palestinian people to have access to the outside world: that we will not stay silent as the Palestinian people are deliberately starved and humiliated; that Palestinians have a right to life with dignity.
For more information contact
Irish Free Gaza Coordinator
091 472279/085 7747257