ATTENTION NEWSDESK – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Monday 31st May 2010
FOSIS expresses outrage following Israel's attack on humanitarian flotilla
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies today expressed outrage following the Israeli government’s decision to deploy commandos and assault the humanitarian flotilla heading for Gaza, killing innocent civilians in the process.
Qasim Rafiq, spokesman for FOSIS said today, "It is an absolute travesty of justice that a convoy of humanitarian ships heading towards Gaza was set upon and attacked by Israeli commandos on international waters killing innocent civilians. Such an act should not only incur unanimous international condemnation but rather also ensure that Israel be held accountable for it's actions and suffer the repercussions thereof. This convoy, cleared by the Turkish authorities as being purely humanitarian and civilian in nature, was delivering much needed aid to the Gazans who have been collectively punished by the vicious Israeli siege. That this took place on international waters where Israel has no jurisdiction is yet another demonstration of Israel's flagrant attitude towards international law and human rights. Sadly though, many in both the Western and Muslim world will know that little will be done by Western governments in response to the latest Israeli atrocity and that the Israeli government will not be reprimanded for this unwarranted, vicious and illegal assault."
He further added, "The people of Gaza are those at greatest loss as they will continue to endure Israeli injustice as a result of the medieval siege. We strongly call upon the Turkish government, the EU and other countries in the area to take whatever legal means available to put an end to ongoing Israeli aggression. Fundamentally though it is becoming increasingly clear that the response to the crimes perpetrated by Israel will ultimately be dealt with by a global grassroots movement of people and not by Western governments, whose deafening silence in the face of such aggression is all too common.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
RE: Violent attack on Humanitarian Flotilla
In the early hours of Monday 31st May a flotilla of 9 ships containing 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza was attacked by the Israeli navy. These ships which aim to break the illegal blockade of Gaza are also carrying over 600 civilian activists, 28 of which are British citizens.
Reports from news agencies suggest that at least 15 activists were killed by the Israeli navy in this attack and many more were injured. It is worth noting that Israel not only attacked unarmed civilians (the flotilla passed Turkish inspection before departing), but that it violently boarded the ships in international waters which is a clear violation of International Law.
The UN and other humanitarian organisations have all condemned Israel's blockade of Gaza, which is illegal under International Law as it amounts to collective punishment of the Palestinian people. The Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip an "abomination" and has strongly condemned what he called international "silence and complicity" on the blockade.
I urge you to condemn this violent and illegal attack on unarmed civilians by Israel. The UK's support of Israel weakens our standing in the world and threatens our security.
Martin Luther King Jr. said that "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." As you read this letter over 1.2 million people in Gaza are suffering due to the Israeli blockade.
As my MP I urge you not to be silent on this issue and to take up this just and noble cause on behalf of those whose voices have been drowned out. I hope that you will raise this issue in the House of Commons this week and will offer your support to the EDM's condemning Israel's actions.
I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.
Please make du'a brothers and sisters.