Editor’s Note: The following is a statement from the organizations Boycott from Within, De-colonizer, The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and Zochrot. Mondoweiss occasionally publishes press releases and statements from organizations in an effort to draw attention to overlooked issues.
We are Israeli groups and organizations, active against our government’s violations of Palestinian rights, which include dispossession, occupation, colonization, house demolition, torture and apartheid. We would like to thank Gaza 2020: Breaking the Siege (1) – a group of international activists, including members of parliament, who carried out a brave action in January 2020, attempting to break down the wall built by Israel around the besieged Gaza strip (2).
The Gaza strip is the world’s largest open-air prison. More than two million people – including babies and children – are living there in horrific conditions. Water is scarce and contaminated, electricity supply is severely lacking, unemployment is widespread, and poverty is everywhere. The inhabitants of the besieged Gaza strip are also subjected to siege and bombardment, at times indiscriminate, on a large scale, by the Israeli military. The UN has warned that Gaza would become “unlivable” by 2020. It is now 2020. Life for Gaza’s millions has been dangerous and unbearable for years (3), and now things are worse than they have ever been.
The purpose of the fence built by Israel around Gaza is not just enforcing the siege, but also keeping Gaza’s refugees – more than 70% of the population – from returning to their towns and villages in their homeland, from which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by Israel during the Nakba in 1948. This Israeli intention has been made evident by Israel’s deadly response to protests by civilians from Gaza at the fence, also known as “The Great March of Return” campaign, taking place since March 2018. Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been injured by Israeli fire against the protesters. Injuries have been severe, often necessitating the amputation of limbs (4).
As Israeli citizens, we stress that the Israeli siege and brutality towards Gaza and its inhabitants do not protect us. These cruel policies actually ensure that we remain in perpetual conflict. The Israeli siege on Gaza sustains ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and we will continue to support all those active for Palestinian freedom and human rights.
Our statement is issued at a time when the racist Trump Administration attempts to enforce a “Bantustan solution” on the Palestinian people, most notably on the inhabitants of Gaza. We reject this grotesque attempt. Just like the Apartheid wall in the West Bank, the prison wall surrounding Gaza must fall and will fall.
*Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (aka Boycott from Within) – https://boycottisrael.info/
*De-colonizer – (Research / art laboratory for social change) – https://www.de-colonizer.org/
*The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) – https://icahd.org/
*Zochrot (Promoting acknowledgement and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba) – https://zochrot.org/en/content/17