Gisha Response to the Interception of Ships Bound for Gaza

May 31, 2010: Gisha expresses sorrow at reports that dozens of civilians have been killed or injured during the Israeli military’s interception of boats bound for the Gaza Strip, carrying humanitarian assistance and hundreds of foreign and Israeli activists, including elected representatives.

This incident is proof that despite claims to the contrary, Israel never "disengaged" from the Gaza Strip but rather continues to control its borders – land, air and sea.

Gisha notes that Israel cannot maintain such control while at the same time renouncing responsibility for its effects on the 1.5 million human beings whose access to the outside world has been cut off nearly hermetically for the past three years. International law requires Israel to permit the kind of access necessary for Gaza residents to live normal, dignified lives.

It would be better for all concerned – Israel, Palestinian residents of Gaza, and those seeking to visit Gaza – if Israel would allow the regular and free passage of people, raw materials for industry, building materials, and export goods in and out of Gaza, subject only to concrete, individual security checks.