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Jul 6, 2010

“Fleet of Freedom 2” 9 thousand participants

ECESG: Number of joining-applications exceeded 9 thousand participants

7 European ships to join the “Fleet of Freedom 2”

ECESG: Number of joining-applications exceeded

9 thousand participants

Brussels- July 5 - 2010

The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, Brussels-based, said that the “Fleet Freedom 2” is witnessing a large turnout in terms of peace activists asking to participate in it and in terms of the number of vessels, noting that the fleet will carry surprises for the Israeli side.

The campaign, one of the founders of the “Fleet of Freedom” coalition, explained in a press statement issued today, that among those surprises the participation of seven ships of the European countries in this fleet, which will be the largest in terms of number of vessels involved and the largest in terms of number of participants.

The campaign added that it received thousands of requests from around the world to participate in the “Fleet of Freedom 2”, which is expected to set sail to the Gaza Strip within a few weeks, noting that Since the European campaign opened their door to international solidarity to participate in the “Fleet of Freedom 2”, since about three weeks ago, more than nine thousand people filled the application-form for participation in the fleet, which will be sailing to the besieged Gaza Strip soon.

The campaign said that "this large number, which keeps growing day after day, comes despite what has happened to the previous naval vessels of “Fleet of Freedom 1” on the 31st of last May, when Israeli occupation forces broke into the International ships of solidarity by force, killing nine and wounding dozens, and plundered the ships with the aid onboard estimated at more ten thousand tons.

The European campaign said that this number of peace activists from different nationalities emphasizes that what the Israeli occupation has done only increased the persistence and determination of the free world in order to break the siege imposed on Gaza Strip, which entered its fifth consecutive year, noting at the same time that “The overwhelming response and participation might the launch of the fleet (which was pointed on the beginning of August) to be postponed for several days.”

Pointing to the fact that The fleet of “Freedom” that The Israeli commandos attacked consisted of seven ships which are: A cargo ship funded by Kuwait raising the flag of Turkey and Kuwait, A cargo ship funded by Algeria, and a cargo ship funded by Europe from Sweden and Greece, and 4 vessels to transport passengers; one of the boats is named "boat 8000" taking after the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The fleet carried 750 participants from more than 60 countries, although it had received dozens of requests for participation. Meanwhile 44 governmental, parliamentary, political, European, and Arab officials will be among the participants in the fleet, including ten Algerian MEPs.

The campaign also explained that the ships of the fleet carried more than 10 thousand tons of medical supplies, building materials, timber, 100 prefab houses to shelter tens of thousands of people who lost their homes during the Israeli war on Gaza in early 2009, it also carries 500 electric vehicles for the handicapped, especially since the recent war that left nearly 600 disabled people in Gaza, confirming that most of the humanitarian aid represents essential and humanitarian goods and materials, from which 90% of them are banned from entering according to Israel’s unjust rules.

Gaza is Suffering from a Severe Power Outage Crisis

Power outage crisis is likely to flare the tragedy and misery of 1.5 million Palestinians locked into the Gaza strip .

Gaza's power plant units , with a generating capacity of 30 Megawatt, were declared out of service yesterday . The Gaza strip is experiencing a severe power crisis which led to bringing down the number of operating power units from 4 to 1 due to chronic shortage of fuel needed for operating the plant .

Mr. Jamal Al Dardasawi , Director of PR in the Local Electricity Company , pointed out that Gaza is living now one of its worst nightmares having to struggle with a growing deficit of power supply estimated at 60 percent of the strip's total electricity needs.

He added " the remaining power storage is only sufficient at maximum to light up the strip for 6 hours daily while experiencing an 18 hour blackout in full darkness".

He also mentioned that this long-lasting blackout is going to inflict a grave damage on commercial and industrial sectors , public facilities and services .

Gaza sinks in complete darkness

Gaza, June 26, (Pal Telegraph) One can not predict when the crisis of electricity in the Gaza Strip will ever end, it began with the Israeli bombing of Gaza’s only power plant only four years ago to render the damage of two generators out of three which operate the whole power plant, and on yesterday evening the halt of this generator was announced, not because of the Israeli bombardment, but because of preventing the needed fuel from entering to Gaza.

Yesterday, Gaza’s only power plant stopped. The chairman of the energy and natural resources authority in Gaza, Kanaan Obeid, said that the power plant stopped working last night, because it wasnt provided with the required quantities of fuel to run the power plant, assuring that the deficit in the electric power supplied to the provinces of Gaza will come to 60 percent, warning of a major humanitarian disaster in Gaza’s hospitals.

According to Obaid, the three sources of electricity in Gaza, are a line from Israel that produces "120" megawatts, and a line from Egypt which produces "16" MW, while Gaza’s only power plant produces the amount of "60" MW (that’s before the deficit).

Urgent call from journalists on board the Freedom Flotilla

We the journalists, reporters, television photographers and blogers on board the Freedom Flotilla coming from various European ports to Gaza, regard with utmost gravity the verbal threats and attacks which took place against us in recent hours from the Israeli government and its forces in recent hours.

We wish to draw the attention to everyone that we have undertaken a reporting exercise in a professional manner to cover the Flotilla which carries humanitarian aid, medicine and other necessities for civil reconstruction in the devastated Gaza Strip.

By this urgent call we hold the Israeli government and its armed forces full responsibility for any violation against our persons and our safety.

We warn in these early hours of Monday 31st May, of the increase military activity by the Israelis. We await our governments Turkey, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Bulgaria, USA and several Arab and European countries and trade unions to undertake urgent action towards these developments.

Journalists, correspondents, reporters and television photographers on board the ‘Freedom Flotilla’

OCHA's Report: Impact of Electricity Cuts on the Humanitarian Situation

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory issued a report last May summarizing the impact that electricity cuts have on different sectors such hospitals and clinics , water and sanitation etc.. .

These cuts substantially disrupt all aspects of life and exacerbate lives of the Palestinian people .

The Statistical Report is available in pdf format here

See more HERE

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