To: Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General United Nations
October 4, 2017
Dear Secretary General,
On your recent visit to Gaza, you saw with your own eyes some of the deplorable and inhumane conditions suffered by the Palestinians living in Gaza. You called it “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” that you had seen. We hope that, backed by the strength of the United Nations, this experience encourages you to bring maximum pressure on the State of Israel to lift the illegal and inhumane blockade the people of Gaza have been living under for ten years.
We want to remind you that there are many civil society and religious groups around the world who are watching the worsening situation in horror. We are depending on the United Nations, under your leadership, to work at the international level to increase the pressure from all nation states to use every economic and political measure to remind the State of Israel of the standards expected of the civilized nations of the world.
Swedish Parliament Hears from the Women’s Boat to Gaza
Women from five continents who took part in the Women’s Boat to Gaza, travelled to Stockholm to attend the Women of Gaza Under the Blockade” conference and support a resolution at the end of the conference’.
The women supported a resolution calling on the Swedish government, members of the Security Council of the United Nations and governments of all participants in the Women’s Boat to Gaza campaign to take firm and determined actions to pressure Israel and Egypt to immediately end the blockade of Gaza. It also called for sanctions and the cancellation of commercial agreements and cooperation in fields such as medicine and education.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between 1 January and 15 May 2017, the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) opened fire on Gaza fishers 133 times. On 15 May, the IOF Navy shot at two fishing boats about three nautical miles from the Gaza shore, northwest of Gaza City, killing a 25 year old fisherman, Mohammed Majed Bakr, whose wife is now a widow with two small children, aged one and three. In violation of International Law, Israel has declared that Gaza fishers can only fish in a zone close to the Gaza shore. When the massive attack on the population of Gaza ended in 2014, Israel promised to increase the size of zone where Palestinians could fish. Once the international media attention had faded, Israel went back on its word. Even within that area the IOF navy routinely terrorises Palestinian fishers, destroying or stealing fishing boats, destroying their nets and confiscating their catch.