The National Committee of the World Educational Forum in Palestine condemns the brutal Israeli attack against the flotilla carrying aid for Gaza. The Freedom Flotilla was organized by a coalition of groups that sought to break the Israeli-led siege on the Gaza Strip that began in 2007.
The Israeli military attack against the civilian peace activists is another international war crime carried out by the Israeli . The raid in international waters, on the aid convoy headed to Gaza left at least 10 civilians dead. Article 88 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Convention affirms that the high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes, and Article 110 provides that a warship that encounters a foreign ship on the high seas can only board the ship if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is participating in unlawful activities such as piracy or the slave trade. The Gaza flotilla was made up of civilian ships carrying humanitarian aid. There were no reasonable grounds for boarding the ships, much less for killing civilians on board.
The national committee of the World Educational Forum calls on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to request the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel and to act internationally to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea. A prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards should be held. We also reemphasized the importance of implementing U.N. resolution 1860, which calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s 1.5 million residents. The flow of aid has been severely hampered by Israel’s three-year blockade on the Gaza Strip. Finally, the UN must act immediately to implement the recommendations of the Goldstone Report. Crimes such as those witnessed today are only possible in the prevailing atmosphere of impunity where Israel is not held to account for its unlawful actions.
The national committee of the World Educational Forum is condemning this crime and mourns the martyrs of the freedom fleet and expresses its condolences to their families. We wish the injured activists a speedy recovery. We express our deepest appreciation for their steadfastness of international solidarity activists as to break the siege and oppose the Israeli occupation.
The national committee of the World Educational Forum Palestine