About us

Free Gaza Australia – formerly Gaza Freedom Flotilla Group (Australia) – was established in 2010, in Sydney. It was a response to the Israeli attack on the ‘Freedom Flotilla’, which sailed to Gaza in May 2010 to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza, which ended in the massacre of unarmed human rights activists on the Marvi Marmara.

Free Gaza Australia actively participates in and supports non-violent actions to raise global awareness and challenge the blockade, including initiatives of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. We believe this solidarity work is a responsibility of people in Australia, particularly when our Government fails to act. It augments the range of global initiatives supporting the Palestinian people’s human rights, denied by Israel, the occupying power, which refuses to abide by international laws.

In 2011, Free Gaza Australia was a participant and Steering Committee member on Freedom Flotilla Two – Stay Human and Freedom Waves,in which international human rights activists sailed on the Tahrir and other boats, in an attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. Through our fundraising we became part-owners of the Tahrirand Australians travelled on the boat. Our participation increased the exposure and understanding of the Gaza blockade locally, raised media coverage and created immediacy in our Government lobbying; particularly when Michael Coleman was detained in Israel after the Israeli navy attacked our boat in international waters.

Since 2012 we have been supporting Gaza’s Ark, in cooperation with partners in Palestine, Canada, the US and Europe. This project involved buying and renovating a fishing boat in Gaza, to challenge the blockade by sailing from Gaza to other ports in the Mediterranean Sea. It was scheduled to sail in the second half of 2014, carrying Palestinian products, fulfilling trade deals with individuals and organisations from all over the world. In this way, Gaza’s Ark was challenging the blockade by building hope on the ground in Gaza and supporting the Palestinians of Gaza to rebuild their economy, through outbound trade that threatens noone’s security.

Gaza’s Ark was destroyed by a shell, which came from the sea in July last year during Israel’s attacks on the Palestinians of Gaza. More details are available here.

We are now supporting the next mission of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, Women’s Boat to Gaza and we urge you to support this too.

Our reasons, in brief, are:

1. Israel is an occupying power that, since 2007, has exercised effective control over Gaza’s territorial waters, its airspace, and the flow of people and goods through its land borders.

2. As an occupying power, the Fourth Geneva Convention obliges the Israeli Government to protect all civilians in Gaza and allow them adequate access to food and medical supplies.

3. The Israeli Government’s imposition and maintenance of a blockade is a disproportionate and non-targeted response to threats to Israel’s security that has resulted in the collective punishment of Gaza’s 1.8 million civilians, so much so that 75 per cent of Palestinian people in Gaza rely on United Nations food assistance to survive, with malnutrition and poverty being widespread.

4. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, the International Committee of the Red Cross and numerous human rights organisations have all condemned the blockade as illegal and called upon Israel to lift the siege.

5. Governments are bound not only to uphold, but also to act upon violations of international law and human rights treaties. The Australian Government has consistently failed to discharge its responsibility. We believe that the silence of the Government of Australia and its failure to speak out against the blockade is tantamount to Australia condoning Israel’s disregard for the human rights of the Palestinians of Gaza and its refusal to comply with its international obligations.  This silence compels us, as citizens of good conscience, to act where our Government has so consistently failed to do so.

These reasons in conjunction with the recent appeal by a wide range of Palestinian organisations in Gaza for boats to come to break the blockade has confirmed the continuing importance of our work to challenge the naval blockade of Gaza. Please support the next mission of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, Women’s Boat to Gaza. Please donate what you can to help at our bank account:

Bank: Commonwealth Bank
Acc. Name: GFF Australia Group
BSB: 062102
Acc. No.: 10197185

Please let us know about your donation by emailing us so that we can acknowledge your contribution.

 

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