(An Italian delegation left to visit Gaza. They were denied entry, but another delegation, working for the European Parliament, is coming soon. This was what they released beforehand.)
The initiative “Gaza must live – appeal to end a genocidal embargo” was launched at the end of September.
The appeal was promoted, among others, by a considerable number of representatives of personalities from the spheres of culture and academia. Among the most renowned names are the philosopher (and former member of the European Parliament) Gianni Vattimo, the astro-physicist Margherita Hack, the journalist and ex MP Lucio Manisco, the professor of philosophy of law Danilo Zolo, the historian Franco Cradini, the poet Edoardo Sanguineti as well as two important personalities of the Christian world, Giulio Girardi and Giovanni Franzoni. Others who signed include the European MP Giulietto Chiesa (who is at the same time one of the most outstanding Italian journalists) as well as three senators: Fernando Rossi (former Party of Italian Communists), Fosco Giannini (Communist Refoundation) and Mauro Bulgarelli (Greens). About one hundred academics who adhered to the campaign, as did several local committees supporting the Palestinian struggle.
The aim of this initiative is to create awareness in the public opinion about the appalling situation in Gaza, to pressure the Italian government to desist from the criminal embargo, to support humanitarian supplies to the starving people of Gaza, to remove Hamas from the “Black List” and to cancel it altogether and eventually to annul the military co-operation treaty with Israel.
The appeal has been signed so far by about 2.500 people and enjoyed a certain echo in the Italian media: it made the front page of “Corriere della Sera” and was the subject of a televised debate on RAI2.
The next step of the campaign will be a delegation to Gaza during the Christmas period. Invited by humanitarian organisations operating in the Gaza strip, the delegation will include some of the most prominent signers of the appeal including the MPs. The delegation is scheduled to meet humanitarian and political representatives in order to promote initiatives to counter the embargo and provide relief for the population.
But we do not want to conceal the difficulties: the Israeli government totally restricts access to the Gaza strip, thus creating a concentration camp.
Denouncing this barbarisation (it should be remembered that the embargo against Yugoslavia and Iraq covered the movement of goods, against Gaza it also includes persons) the promoters have asked for a meeting with the foreign ministry.
It is time for the Italian government to show colour. It has already rendered itself the accomplice of a devastating embargo. We will see in the forthcoming days whether it will also give in to the Israeli claim to impede any access to Gaza.
(They were denied entry into Gaza, and the Popular Committee against Siege (PCAS) later released this statement on their website, www.freegaza.ps)
PCAS expresses solidarity with Italian delegation
Popular Committee against Siege (PCAS) is very sorry for what happened to you but this is an indication of the false claims of our oppressors. Israelis claim that they are democratic, but you have seen that they are barbarous by denying your entry to Gaza strip. This shows how Israeli democracy is false.
It’s only a game to make the people believe that they are victims. Yet, you have seen that the are putting all Gaza residents in a big concentration camp to perish one by one. But, they will never succeed because we are supported by the real democratic like you, the real lovers of freedom who came from far places to say nay for Israeli’s crime.
Your attempt has debunked the Israeli allegation that they are the paragon of democracy. Imagine that what you have faced is always happening to patients! They are being killed in cold blood. Israelis are violating human rights laws, accords, charters and the four Geneva conventions. However, USA and EU are supporting them in a very flagrant way.
Even though you were not allowed in, but our children were very happy that you tried to come and help them. They keep clinging hope on people like yourselves. We express our heartily thanks. We invite you to make more attempts to get into Gaza Strip.
The Gaza strip is in bad conditions, so Israelis will do all steps to prevent others from seeing the real picture. The siege associated with Israeli media blackmail. Today, the number of death toll of Gaza patients under blockade has risen up to 50. So, again we stress on your visit to Gaza…. Or more people will die….!!!
PCAS is still determined that you come to Gaza Strip to interact with what’s going on. Your visit will make the world exposed to humanitarian crisis.
MP. Jamal N. El Khoudary