GAZA STRIP (Dispatches) – The International Freedom Flotilla Coalition held meetings this weekend to discuss its plan to resume efforts to break the siege on Gaza in 2023.
Organizers said that the meeting was sponsored by the Palestinian Forum in Britain and was attended by representatives of the international coalition in addition to the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza.
Zaher Birawi, president of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza and a founding member of the Freedom Flotilla, said the coalition would resume its efforts to challenge the illegal, immoral and inhumane blockade imposed on Gaza, especially the naval blockade. This is after coronavirus lockdowns forced the movement to cease its operations.
Representatives of a number of Palestinian solidarity institutions also took part in the meeting, most notably Miles of Smiles, the Muslim Association in Britain, the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign, in addition to the Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad, who affirmed their support for the coalition’s efforts to break the siege on Gaza and their willingness to participate in a number of concurrent activities to highlight the need to end the siege imposed on Gaza.
Several vessels have tried to break the siege on the Gaza Strip as part of the Freedom Flotilla, however Zionist troops confronted them and prevented them from reaching Gaza’s shores.
In 2010, the Mavi Marmara ship was brutally attacked by the regime’s navy in international waters and nearly a dozen activists were killed.
Amid rampant poverty and a myriad of other problems, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are preparing to defend their homes against the sea as coastal erosion expected during winter storms threatens life in the enclave. Sandbags, cement blocks and rubble are all being used to protect homes from collapse.
With waves reaching an unprecedented size due to erosion and, say officials, climate change, they called for world leaders in Sharm al Sheikh for the COP27 summit to pay serious attention to the issue.
Hassan al-Ajrami, 59, who lives in a house on the coast, told the local APA news agency that sandbags and the other materials help to consolidate the shoreline and break the waves. “If we did not face winter with these preparations, we would see our house collapse,” he said. “Drastic solutions are called for.” A couple of years ago, he pointed out, the waves rose above the level of his house and civil defence officers had to step in and save his family.
Dozens of homes, hotels and tourist attractions along the sea front are threatened by rising wave levels.