Kiwi activist safely exits Gaza to continue mission in Cairo
I have been in Gaza for two weeks with UK film-maker Harry Fear and his team. As citizen journalists we were on a fact finding mission in Gaza, a job the mainstream media has largely abdicated.
In addition to consolidating friendships established on previous visits, I have been interviewing a wide range of influential people in Gaza about the impact of the historic changes in the region following the Arab Spring uprisings, and the prospects for ending the illegal siege of this Palestinian territory.
Having completed this mission for Kia Ora Gaza’s website, and after enduring a night of intense bombing in Gaza, on Thursday I took up an offer from a brave taxi driver to make a desperate dash to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt during a brief lull in Israel’s attacks.
I am now in Cairo where I will investigate Egyptian support for the liberation of Palestine.
Israel’s attack on Gaza is a one-sided, barbaric onslaught by one of the world’s strongest military powers against a largely defenceless and entrapped people.
1.7 million Palestinians, most of them refugees from Israel’s ethnic cleansing, live in the world’s second most densely populated region. They have no army, no navy, no air force. They have nowhere to run to, and nowhere to hide. They are living the worst nightmare of absolute terror from an unseen predator.
For three days in a row, devastating bombs have been raining down on this tiny enclave, resulting in at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries, including many women, children and babies.
Their hospitals, stretched way beyond their meagre resources, have declared an emergency as blood supplies are depleted. Their leaders are targeted for assassination, but as usual, it’s the ordinary people who are the main casualties.
The state of Israel has unleashed this extreme level of terror many times before. But this time there is a new context.
The Arab Spring uprisings have toppled or weakened many of Israel’s old allies, and Palestine is breaking free from the isolation Israel has imposed for so long. So Israel’s outrageous attacks on Palestinians threaten to escalate into a major regional conflict.
We must all step up our efforts to oppose Israel’s barbarous behaviour, and to demand our government does likewise.
We have a proud history in New Zealand of standing up against injustice and for peace. We should join with people around the world to demand that Israel immediately stops its bloody onslaught against Gaza.
Because Palestine is located at the crossroads of civilisation and history, until there is justice in Palestine there can be no peace in the Middle East, nor in the world as a whole.