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Action Alert: Palestine – Israeli commandos open fire on Gaza aid ships

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The commandos forcefully took control of the ships and opened fire when they met passive non-violent resistance from the Activists.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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31 May 2010

Action Alert: Palestine – Israeli commandos open fire on Gaza aid ships

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter
5. Addresses for sample letter


1. Summary

6 ships carrying 10,000 tones of aid with 700 passengers came under fire by Israeli forces in the early hours of the morning. The commandos forcefully took control of the ships and opened fire when they met passive non-violent resistance from the Activists. 20 people are said to have been killed and hundreds more injured.


2. Background

The United Nations estimates that less than a quarter of the required aid for the Palestinian people reaches them as a result of the humanitarian blockade imposed by Israel. The flotilla of ships carried the much needed aid to the Palestinians in an attempt to alleviate their sufferings. The aid includes 5000 tonnes of food, reconstruction materials, school supplies and medical equipment.

The flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid were heading towards Gaza when they were fired on by Israeli forces.
Volunteers came from 60 countries and included 27 British citizens and humanitarians from Ireland, America, Greece, Kuwait, Turkey, Belgium and elsewhere around the globe. The Israeli helicopters were said to have fired on the ships before deploying their commandos on the deck of the ships. The activists attempted passive resistance to the commandos who then opened fire on the innocent, unarmed men, women and children. The attack on the flotilla took place in international waters and is illegal and an act of piracy according to international law.

20 people have been confirmed dead in this massacre and hundreds more injured. It is been reported that Raed Salah Head of Islamic Movement in Israel has been killed and  Al Jazeera correspondent Jamal el Shayyal is missing since he last reported on the situation on Mavi Marmara.

IHRC urges countries to expel their Israeli ambassadors, cut all military and economic relations with Israel and support the boycott, divestment and sanction movement. IHRC is also disappointed at the lack of strong condemnation from the international community and the UN as there cannot be any excuse for armed forces opening fire on unarmed civilians.



3. Action required

Write to the following authorities requesting them to expel Israeli ambassadors and cut political and economic ties with Israel.

a) British Foreign Minister, campaigners will find the appropriate address, fax and email on the sample letter below,

b)  US Secretary of State
 
c) President of the European Commission


4. Sample letter
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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a) Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. William Hague MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AH, UK

Dear Mr Hague,

Re: Israeli commandos open fire on Gaza aid ships

I am absolutely outraged at the recent attack and killings of unarmed civilian men, women and children aboard the Flotilla. 6 ships carrying 10,000 tones of aid with 700 passengers came under fire by Israeli forces in the early hours of the morning. The commandos forcefully took control of the ships and opened fire when they met passive non-violent resistance from the Activists. 20 people are said to have been killed and hundreds more injured.

The United Nations estimates that less than a quarter of the required aid for the Palestinian people reaches them as a result of the humanitarian blockade imposed by Israel. The flotilla of ships carried the much needed aid to the Palestinians in an attempt to alleviate their sufferings. The aid includes 5000 tonnes of food, reconstruction materials, school supplies and medical equipment.

The flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid were heading towards Gaza when they were fired on by Israeli forces.
Volunteers came from 60 countries and included 27 British citizens and humanitarians from Ireland, America, Greece, Kuwait, Turkey, Belgium and elsewhere around the globe. The Israeli helicopters were said to have fired on the ships before deploying their commandos on the deck of the ships. The activists attempted passive resistance to the commandos who then opened fire on the innocent, unarmed men, women and children. The attack on the flotilla took place in international waters and is illegal and an act of piracy according to international law.

20 people have been confirmed dead in this massacre and hundreds more injured. It is been reported that Raed Salah Head of Islamic Movement in Israel has been killed and  Al Jazeera correspondent Jamal el Shayyal is missing since he last reported on the situation on Mavi Marmara ship.

I urge you to cut all military and economic ties with Israel as well as expel the Israeli ambassador. You have a responsibility to ensure that international law is respected and unlawful killing is prevented. Israel needs to a hear a strong and uncompromising message from the international community that its crimes against humanity will not be tolerated.

I look forward to hearing back from regarding these urgent matters.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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5. Addresses for sample letters

b) Minister of foreign affairs in the U.S

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
1825 K Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington DC, 20006
 

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c) President of the European Commission

José Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission
1049 Brussels, Belgium



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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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If you are reusing this alert, please cite the source.

For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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