Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip launched Saturday, September 23, an international campaign to break the Israeli occupation’s blockade on the strip. The campaign coincides with similar solidarity activities in other countries.
Representatives of national factions and civil society groups united in a powerful campaign titled “Free Gaza Ports,” which was announced in a press conference at the Gaza seaport. They carried banners calling for the end of the suffocating blockade on the Strip.
“Today, we unite as part of the international campaign to break the siege on Gaza. The occupation not only robs fishermen of their freedom to fish but also seizes their boats, and arbitrarily detains them,” proclaimed conference leader Salama Ma’ruf.
Ma’rouf added, “This conference stands as a firm message to our partners on the other side of the sea: The time has come to end the Gaza blockade once and for all. It is imperative to uplift the siege on the ports of Gaza.”
“Ever since the Israeli occupation imposed the blockade on Gaza, thus denying an entire generation the opportunity to connect with the world beyond, we have been tirelessly dedicating our efforts to dismantle this inhumane siege, he emphasized.
Gaza’s Healthcare System in Peril
Marouf disclosed the healthcare crisis in Gaza, emphasising that the Israeli occupation’s racial policies annually prevent over 6,000 Palestinian patients from accessing vital treatment abroad. Tragically, this policy has already murdered more than 400 patients.
He further highlighted that the siege has resulted in the loss of approximately 43% of essential medicines and over 25% of critical medical supplies in the Gaza Strip, as the occupation obstructs the entry of numerous medical and diagnostic devices that could greatly enhance the healthcare system.
Blockade Fallout: Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis Deepens
According to Ma’rouf, the occupation destroyed more than 2,500 facilities and factories during its repeated attacks on the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, they have unjustly barred the entry of more than 1,200 essential items into Gaza, citing false pretexts, thereby exacerbating the already dire humanitarian crisis.
He highlighted a stark reality: Prior to the blockade, there were 5,000 Palestinian fishermen; however, due to repeated Israeli attacks and violations against them, their numbers have dwindled to a mere 2,000.
Ma’rouf called on international human rights organizations and the international community, urging them to take decisive action to break the blockade and help Palestinians live a better life in peace and dignity.
“Our people hold a deep love for life, and we implore not to have the doors of hope slammed shut before us. This campaign commences today, with a multitude of events across various cities as part of the Free Gaza Ports initiative, and it will persist until the month’s end,” he concluded.