The Right2Know Campaign has joined the call from civil society for the presidency of South Africa to intervene in the Israeli threat to attack the Women’s Boat to Gaza.
The Palestinian Information Centre reported information from the Israeli daily Maariy stating that Israeli naval forces had been instructed to intercept the boat and arrest the activists on board as soon as they reached Gaza’s shores today.
As peaceful protestors and journalists, disrupting an unjust law through civil resistance tactics, we condemn this threat to their safety and their right to protest, as well as the clamp down on reporting and independent critical journalists.
We call on the presidency to take a strong stance to demand the safety of all on board, including South African and Right2Know activist, Leigh-Ann Naidoo.
We commend the strength and bravery of the women on board the boat.
We the undersigned, are aware of the imminent threat of interception by Israel of the Women’s Boat to Gaza – a group of women who are sailing in an attempt to break the illegal Israeli blockade on the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
From past Israeli interceptions the possibility of a violent military attack as was experienced by the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010 is a reality.
It is deplorable that despite the loss of lives resulting from Israel’s unlawful piracy in international waters, the Israeli regime has once again threatened to repeat its criminal conduct. By the same token, it is inexcusable that the United Nations and its Security Council have failed to warn Israel not to proceed with its threat to attack the WBG.
We as signatories are deeply concerned that these peaceful women activists on board the Zaytouna and their non-violent mission to break the illegal Israeli blockade, face such an unprovoked and unwarranted threat. The WBG is a solidarity mission to occupied Gaza and has no intention of entering Israel illegally.
We find it unacceptable that despite these public threats by Israel, and notwithstanding the fact that one of the volunteers on board is a South African citizen, Leigh-Ann Naidoo former Olympian and activist, the Department of International Relations (DIRCO) remains silent.
We therefore call on the SA Presidency to urgently take steps to ensure the safety of all the women on this mission including Leigh-Ann Naidoo. It is imperative for the SA government to provide the necessary protection for its citizen.
The WBG is an admirable effort by brave women from various countries to set sail across the Mediterranean to Gaza, in a peaceful attempt to break Israel’s illegal blockade.
This humanitarian mission is in danger of being attacked, unless the international community, including the ANC-led government, steps in to prevent Israel from carrying out such crimes against humanity, crimes which it frequently commits with complete impunity.
Women’s Boat to Gaza South Africa
Palestine Solidarity Alliance
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
BDS South Africa
South African Jews for a Free Palestine – SAJFP
National Coalition 4 Palestine #NC4P
Media Review Network – South Africa
University of Johannesburg Palestine Solidarity Forum – UJ PSF
Palestine Solidarity Alliance Youth League