News on Covid-19 in the Occupied Territories from The Lancet

Palestine and COVID-19–Two powerful new articles from “The Lancet” medical journal:

– March 26 from The Lancet, Structural violence in the era of a new pandemic: The case of Gaza

This is an excellent and extensive study on the health of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank by the world respected medical journal “The Lancet.”

“This is the first of five reports about the health status and health services in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory—the West Bank (including Palestinian Arab East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. We emphasize the complexity of factors that contribute to Palestinian health and health-system problems: ongoing colonization—ie,

    • continued Israeli land confiscation;
    • building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land;
    • fragmentation of communities and land;
    • acute and constant insecurities;
    • routine violations of human rights by Israeli military forces;
    • poor governance and mismanagement in the Palestinian National Authority;
    • and dependence on international aid for resources.

These and other factors have distorted and fragmented the Palestinian health system and adversely affected population health.”

March 26 from The Lancet, Tracking COVID-19 Responsibly

Johns Hopkins University suddenly has removed the Occupied Palestinian Territories from their disease tracking system apparently merging it wth Israel in cooperation with the US Department of State–making it very difficult to track COVID-19.

“The removal of the oPt from their tracking system (CSSE dashboard) goes against global scientific cooperation and solidarity, resulting in discrepancies with official data recorded by the Palestinian and Israeli Health Ministries. Consistency with international law and the need for impartial data on the spread of COVID-19 requires databases to list the oPt separately, as reflected in WHO practice. Instead, removing the oPt and merging it with Israel undermines the credibility of the CSSE dashboard. All the more concerning is the dashboard’s use of US State Department country designations,5 which have legitimised the acquisition of territory by force6 and undermined Palestinian identity and rights in Jerusalem.7

It is regrettable that Johns Hopkins University, an institution with historic ties to the slave trade,8 should continue its colonial violence against the indigenous Palestinian people by removing Palestine from the world map. In the same way that Johns Hopkins University has started acknowledging the indigenous Piscataway people, the traditional owners of the lands upon which the university is built,9 Johns Hopkins University must also recognize symbolic violence10 and ensure that it does not contribute to the erasure of indigenous peoples across the globe.”

2020 Flotilla Delayed




                      

In light of global health restrictions on travel and public gatherings, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is delaying our planned departure for Gaza. We had initially planned to visit several southern European ports in April and May, and head for Gaza at the end of May, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara and other Freedom Flotilla vessels in 2010, that killed 10 peace activists. We will stand with our IHH partners as they commemorate those deaths and press for justice at the International Criminal Court .
With the help of supporters like you, we recently purchased a boat for this year’s voyage. Visit our updated website for updates about this boat and our preparations over the coming months. We will decide when our next voyage will begin based on ongoing reviews of public health conditions worldwide and in the ports we are planning to visit.
While the COVID-19 pandemic creates challenges worldwide, it is especially dangerous in Gaza, where conditions are immeasurably more difficult because of the illegal Israeli blockade; Palestinians there are particularly vulnerable now that the first COVID-19 cases have arrived .
 
The crowded conditions in Gaza, with a stretched healthcare system and extremely limited access to outside medical aid, means that we must keep the Palestinian people of Gaza in mind as we adapt to new realities worldwide.

We join organizations like the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza in calling on the international community and the World Health Organization to pressure Israeli authorities to allow entry of medical supplies and equipment necessary for coronavirus testing and treatment.
 
During this exceptionally dangerous period for Palestinians in Gaza, we urge you to support organizations providing on-the-ground services there, such as UNWRA, Rebuilding Alliance, and Middle East Children’s Alliance.

For more information on the situation in Gaza, see this webinar on COVID-19 from CODEPINK and this interview with Dr. Mona El-Farra, health chair of the Palestine Red Crescent Society in Gaza.

 

In solidarity,

Follow our campaigns: 
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla
 

 


2020 Freedom Flotilla Delayed and Gaza Fights For Freedom



                      


 
Dear supporters & friends,

Please join The Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign for a film webinar for the screening of Gaza Fights for Freedom, a film by US journalist Abby Martin. 

This screening is presented and co-hosted by The Social Justice Event Collective, Canadian Boat to Gaza, Independent Jewish Voices-London, Ontario and People for Peace- London, Ontario. 

The screening was to be held during Israeli Apartheid Week on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, calling on progressive movements, groups and organizations fighting all forms of racism, racial discrimination, marginalization and oppression to join forces in advocating for Palestinian rights in the context of global struggles against racial oppression. 

When public venues were closed due to Covid19 measures, we postponed that event, now to be held through a Zoom online webinar on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking hereAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the screening and webinar. 

Film-maker Abby Martin will join us after the screening to discuss the making of her documentary, including a questions and answers period. Filmed during the height of the Great March Of Return protests, it features riveting exclusive footage of demonstrations. The documentary tells the story of Gaza past and present, showing rare archival footage that explains the history never acknowledged by mass media. You hear from victims of the ongoing massacre, including journalists, medics and the family of internationally acclaimed paramedic, Razan al-Najjar. At its core, ‘Gaza Fights For Freedom’ is a thorough indictment of the Israeli military for war crimes, and a stunning cinematic portrayal of Palestinians’ heroic resistance.

 

We will also be joined for part of the discussion by a Palestinian participant from one our partner organizations in Gaza We Are Not Numbers, a group of aspiring and inspiring young journalists telling their stories of daily life in the Gaza Strip.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to view a film, interact with the film-maker and more! Please register by clicking here.
   
If you wish to donate to UNWRA’s Covid-19 urgent response appeal for healthcare in Palestine, see here: 
In Solidarity,


Follow our campaigns: 
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla

 


The 2020 Freedom Flotilla will sail against the Blockade of Gaza later than planned

In light of global health restrictions on travel and public gatherings, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to delay our planned departure towards Gaza. We had initially planned to visit several southern European ports in April and May of this year, and head for Gaza at the end of May, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara and other Freedom Flotilla vessels in 2010, that killed 10 peace activists. We will of course stand with our IHH partners as they commemorate those deaths and press for justice at the International Criminal Court.

With the help of supporters like you, we recently purchased a boat for this year’s voyage. We will still need more donations to help equip this boat with vital safety, communications and other materials, as well as to buy fuel and other supplies for our next challenge to the inhuman and illegal blockade of Gaza. Visit our updated website for updates about this boat and our preparations over the coming months. We will decide when our next voyage will begin based on ongoing reviews of public health conditions worldwide and in the ports we are planning to visit.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges for our Coalition members in each of our countries, especially as our grassroots civil society organizations depend on public support. We also know that conditions in Gaza are immeasurably more difficult, and that Palestinians there are particularly vulnerable now that the first Covid-19 cases have arrived there. The crowded conditions in Gaza, with a healthcare system which is already stretched, and extremely limited access to outside medical aid, all mean that we must keep the Palestinian people of Gaza in mind as we adapt to new realities worldwide.

We join organizations like the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza in calling on the international community and the World Health Organization to pressure Israeli authorities to allow entry of medical supplies and equipment necessary for Corona virus medical examination. While access to international medical aid will be vital to surviving the current crisis, we know that the only lasting peaceful solution for Gaza will be a permanent end to the 13 year blockade, with full freedom of movement for all Palestinians.

Ultimately, we must hold our governments responsible: their political complicity allows Israel to maintain the blockade of Gaza and prevent Palestinian refugees from exercising their right of return to their homeland. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated: please do what you can to stay healthy and engaged with solidarity campaigns. Together we can help end the blockade.

In solidarity,

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition

U.S. Boats To Gaza Efforts During The Corona Virus Epidemic

As the world faces the Covid-19 epidemic our hearts go out to the people of Gaza where the virus has now appeared.  Gaza is an even more dangerous place for the Corona virus outbreak with a health care system that is hampered by the illegal blockade, with a population forced to live in close quarters due to restricted movement and being denied their right to return home, and the water being unfit for consumption.  In solidarity with the people of Gaza, we are organizing events:

And please remember to donate to the various organizations that are helping Gaza through the Corona crisis and in the long term including the UN Works and Relief Agency, Rebuilding Alliance, and Middle East Children’s Alliance.

2020 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza Set For May




                      

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is moving ahead with planning for the 2020 attempt to sail to Gaza in May to break the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade.  
 
There are many ways to  these efforts, including donating financially and, for those in Texas, coming out to hear Herman Reksten, who captained the Al Awda in the  2018 flotilla. Here’s a video of the 2018 flotilla.  
 

Al Awda Captain Herman Reksten

Captain Herman will be traveling across the U.S. with speaking events along the way. He  will talk about his experience in 2018, when he was beaten and imprisoned by Israeli commandos who illegally boarded the Freedom Flotilla ship attempting to reach Gaza. He will also discuss his work in the Mediterranean rescuing migrants fleeing violence and famine in the Middle East and Africa.

 
Herman will be speaking in Texas between February 4 and 11. Here is his schedule.  
 
Col. Ann Wright (ret.) will be doing presentations in California later in February. Details will be posted here when they become available.

In 2020, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition will sail again to break the illegal and inhuman blockade of Gaza. During this mission we will be focusing on children and youth struggling to survive in the wreckage of Gaza.

In 2012, the UN declared that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020. Over the years, the international community has watched that prediction become truth. Palestinians in Gaza live among bombed-out hospitals, schools, and homes. There are water, food and electricity shortages throughout the beleaguered strip, making basic survival a serious challenge. The desperate economic situation also means that children have taken on adult responsibilities, working to help support their families.


The most vulnerable of the innocent are young people, many of whom have been deliberately targeted by Israeli snipers since the 2018 beginning of the Great March of Return, when Palestinians demand their right to return to the homeland from which their families were expelled by Israel. IOF snipers have murdered at least 256 Palestinians in these protests, and tens of thousands have been wounded, many maimed for life. Please watch and share this award-winning short video about one of them, Dreams in the Crosshairs, created by one of our Palestinian partner organizations in Gaza, We Are Not Numbers, with funding from the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.

The world expresses outrage and yet the slaughter and deliberate destruction of Gaza continues with impunity. It seems clear that Israel is systematically targeting Gaza’s future, its children and youth.

Will you help us sail this year? Together we can help end the blockade!

You have heard about the “Steal of the Century” proposed by President Donald Trump. We remind everyone that without justice, there can be no peace, and so we encourage you to read, share and amplify Palestinian responses in your communities and around the world, including this “Appeal of the Century”  from We Are Not Numbers.

A critical way to help our campaign is to contribute financially.  

 
You can donate online or make out checks to our fiscal sponsor, Nonviolence International, and put 2020 Boats to Gaza on the subject line.  
 
Mail checks to: 
2020 Boats to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International 
4000 Albemarle Street, NW, Suite 401 
Washington, DC 20016

 

Follow our campaigns: 
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla
 

 


U.S. Events for the 2020 Gaza Freedom Flotilla

 

Join Norwegian Herman Reksten as he shares his experiences as captain of the fishing vessHermanel Al-Awda (The Return) which was intercepted and boarded in international waters and taken to Israel on July 29, 2018.  He is touring the United States:

  • Houston, Texas: Feb. 4, 7pm
    • Live Oak Friends Meeting • 1318 W. 26th Street Houston, TX  77008
  • Dallas, Texas: Feb. 6: 6:00 pm reception & refreshments • 7:00 pm program
    • Park Plaza Tower • 13111 N Central Expy
      (NW quadrant, LBJ & Central)
      Dallas, TX 75243
      Video of the event
  • Austin, Texas: Feb. 11: 6:30 pm reception & refreshments • 7:00 pm program
    • Friends Meeting of Austin • 3701 E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
      Austin, TX  78721
      Sponsored by JVP, ICPR among others

Join Col. Ann Wright as she tours the United States Fundraising for the 2020 Freedom Flotilla:

May 2020 Freedom Flotilla Will Sail to Gaza




                      

Our fiscal sponsor is Nonviolence International, 501(c)(3), tax ID 52-164578. 
Donations can be made here or checks can be mailed to: 

2020 Boats to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International 
4000 Albemarle Street, NW, Suite 401 
Washington, DC 20016

Follow our campaigns: 



Freedom Flotilla 2020: For the Children of Gaza

#GazaKids #FreedomFlotilla #EndGazaBlockade

After joining other civil society organizations in The Hague on Friday November 29 calling on the International Criminal Court to take action and prosecute Israeli crimes against Palestinians, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition met in Rotterdam this weekend to plan our May 2020 sailing towards Gaza with these important goals:

  • To challenge and end the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza

  • To restore the Rights of children and youth in Gaza, for life, security and freedom of movement.

For more than five years the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has been warning the world that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020 if the blockade does not end. Basic human rights of Palestinians in Gaza are violated daily by the Israeli-imposed blockade, including the right to adequate housing, the right to education, the right to healthcare, the right to clean water and food, and in particular the right to freedom of movement.

Civil society organizations from around the world have combined to challenge the blockade since 2008, when Free Gaza boats managed to arrive in Gaza and leave again peacefully. In all, more than 35 boats have sailed to challenge the blockade in all. Since 2010 we have sailed as the Freedom Flotilla Coalition: international civil society organizations united for human rights and dedicated to challenging the blockade of Gaza through nonviolent direct action. May 2020 will mark 10 years since the attack by Israeli forces on boats including the Mavi Marmara, where they killed 10 people and seriously wounded 56 others.

“The children of Gaza deserve the same rights as children in every other country of the world,” comments Ann Wright of the US Boat to Gaza. “They are more than a million, more than half of the population of Gaza, and they are being deprived of the right to a just future because of the illegal blockade and ongoing military attacks on occupied Gaza by Israel, with the complicity of our governments.”

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on people of conscience from around the world to support our May 2020 mission for the children of Gaza.

December 1, 2019. Rotterdam.

For further background information, see: jfp.freedomflotilla.org

For media comment, contact our campaign spokespeople:
jfp.freedomflotilla.org/media-room-2
—————————————————————————————————

Freedom Flotilla Coalition members also held protests in front of the International Criminal Court to highlight the case in front of the court about the killing of civilians by the Israeli military in international waters in 2010.  At that time the Israeli military boarded the Mavi Marmara and other ships in the flotilla and commandeered them to Israel.  They also killed and wounded passengers.

2020 Freedom Flotilla

Israeli Military Continues Its Killing Spree in Gaza as Freedom Flotilla Gears Up for 2020 Actions

As the Great Return March moves into its 84th week, Israeli snipers continue to fire on participants and people located nearby, killing and maiming civilians. According to the Palestinian news site We Are Not Numbers, “It’s not just their bodies they kill or maim, it’s their dreams. [The video below tells] the story of Alaa al-Dali. Thank you to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition for its support and funding.”

We Are Not Numbers is one of the many projects that benefit from your support of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. And we need your support again as we gear up for another flotilla to Gaza next year. Please see the links below for how you can help.
* * * * *
October 25, 2019 
 
During the 80th Great Return March in Gaza on October 25, Israeli snipers shot 95 Palestinian civilians, including 43 children, a woman, two paramedics and a journalist.
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters, wounding 36 civilians with live bullets and shrapnel in addition to other injuries in the upper body due to direct targeting with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. Thousands of civilians took part in this week’s peaceful protests entitled: “For our Prisoners in Israeli Jails and al-Aqsa Mosque,” raising the Palestinian flag and chanting national slogans.
 
For more than a decade, Israel and Egypt have blockaded the Gaza Strip, by land, air and sea. For most of that decade, the US Boat to Gaza Campaign has been sailing with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, in solidarity with Palestine to break the illegal blockade of Gaza. During Gaza’s Great March of Return, Israeli forces have killed at least 267 people and wounded nearly 15,000 more. Gaza will very soon be uninhabitable. Innocent women, children and men will soon have even less access to clean drinking water, food and other essentials of life. Our governments remain complicit in this crime.
 
*  *  *  *  *
 
We Need Your Support
 
The situation in Gaza is unimaginable to most North Americans. Lack of clean drinking water affects almost two million people. The effects of trauma on this population, including those who have been protesting during the Great March of Return, are immeasurable.
 
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla will sail again in the summer of 2020 to break the illegal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza and bring international attention to the bravery of the Palestinians who participate in the Great Return March.

This year, as we plan for our 2020 Flotilla, we are focusing on children and youth in Gaza. We will be reaching out to individuals and organizations who can help us raise awareness about this human-made humanitarian crisis and our responsibility for it. And, as always, we will be holding our government accountable for their complicity in Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.

 
Our work is not finished and we all need to continue until Palestine is free. 
Together, we can help end the blockade!
 
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TSHIRTS!!

Contact Kit Kittredge at marnykit@gmail.com: $20 + $5 postage.

Men’s M-L-XL crew neck, regular  Heather grey
Women’s S-M-L  V-neck, shorter sleeves, lighter weight, ash grey
 

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2020 will be the  tenth anniversary of the brutal Israeli attack on the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla where Israeli commandos executed ten passengers and wounded fifty on the Mavi Marmara and attacked passengers on the five other boats in the Flotilla which were sailing together to break the illegal blockade of Gaza.
 
Please donate
 
Our fiscal sponsor is Nonviolence International, 501(c)(3), tax ID 52-164578. Donations can be made here or checks can be mailed to:
2020 Boats to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International
4000 Albemarle Street, NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20016
Follow our campaigns:
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Facebook: Freedom Flotilla Coalition
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla