20th November 2013 | Corporate Watch, Tom Anderson and Therezia Cooper | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
On 20th November 2013, hundreds of farmers and fisherfolk gathered outside the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East (UNSCO) in Gaza City to demand that the international community take action to prevent the Israeli military’s attacks against them and to end the occupation.
One fisherman told Corporate Watch, “We are only looking for our daily food and a livelihood. We want to ask the UN to pressure the Israeli occupation not to attack us. We are just trying to earn a living for our families.”
Saad El-Deen Ziada, Farmer and Fishermen Coordinator for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, said, “This demonstration was the start of a Palestinian and international campaign to access our lands and control our water. To achieve what we call food sovereignty.
“We want to send a message to the international community and the General Secretary of the United Nations that it is time to stop the Israeli attacks against Palestinian farmers and to activate human rights law. International human rights law gives us the chance to sanction the occupation government and to support the Palestinians to stay on their land. The international community must deal with the situation as a political issue and not a humanitarian one. First of all we need to end the Israeli occupation. We condemn the international community’s silence at the crimes we are subjected to.”
Several of the speakers at the demonstration also emphasised the importance of the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid.
A delegation from the demonstration delivered a letter to a representative of Ban Ki-moon articulating the protesters’ demands.