Press Releases 

The opening of the Rafah Crossing is a death blow to the siege of Gaza - ridiculous to go on with it.

It's time to bring back the Navy ships from off the Gaza coast, stop the harassing of Palestinian fishermen and allow the next flotilla to proceed.

A Palestinian state will naturally seek to establish a port in Gaza, just as Israel did in Haifa and Ashdod.

"It is time to recognize reality: the siege of Gaza, which caused great suffering to the population and did not bring any benefit to Israel, collapsed following the Egyptian revolution. The opening of the Rafah Crossing gave it a death blow" said former Knesset Member Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom activist. "There is no logic and no sense in navy ships going on trying to enforce the blockade, hovering off the Gaza shore, daily abusing and mistreating the Gaza fishermen who try to bring a bit of livelihood to their families. Insistence upon keeping control of the Gaza Strip's territorial waters and airspace is what causes the state of Israel to be considered as still maintaining a military occupation of the Gaza Strip.

The time to change policy is now, before the new Gaza Flotilla leaves port – an event which is expected in late June. In that way could be avoided another confrontation in the middle of the sea, which even if it would this time not end with bloodshed, would certainly further damage Israel's already shaken image. It is noteworthy that the flotilla organizers have already announced their willingness to undergo an international inspection to esnure that there are no arms on board.

If the prime minister intends to establish a Palestinian state in reality and not only in empty words and speeches it should be clear that the independent Palestinian state will build and develop the Port of Gaza, and receive there ships from all over the world, just as does the independent state of Israel - in Haifa and Ashdod; as does any country which is situated on a seashore. The creation of the port of Gaza was an important and significant part of the Oslo Accords, and it will be a no less important part in any future peace agreement.

It should also be mentioned that Israel has undertaken an explicit commitment to the West Bank and Gaza Strip being a single territorial unit and allow safe passage for Palestinians between the two. This promise was violated systematically in all the years since it was signed by the State of Israel, but its violation does not eliminate at all the Israeli signature on an international commitment. Those who intend a real Palestinian state and not empty words must remember that this would be a state including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, linked by a safe passage. "

Contact: Adam Keller 054-2340749