|Institut für Palästinakunde|
- IPK -
We urgently need new people coming in for ISM Gaza. We are currently four people of which one is leaving in two weeks and another after six weeks. Currently, Palestinian organizations and a group of Spanish NGO's are setting up a human rights monitoring boat, to accompany Gazan fishermen to offer protection and document on Israeli violations of international law and human rights. This is a joint project of PCHR, PSCC (Popular Struggle Coordination Committees) and The Fishermen Association of Gaza in cooperation with the Spanish Network "Civil Peace Services". The boat will consist of a Palestinian captain and a minimum of two internationals, mostly ISM'ers.
The idea was to have the boat going by April 20th, when the Bil'in conference is taking place. However, we are so low in volunteers at the moment that it does not make sense to start now, unless we are sure more people are coming in. It is a vital project as it will give proof to the shootings that fishermen daily face at sea, even within the 3 sea mile. Fishermen are extremely affected by the blockade and are living in dire poverty.
Please find the call for new volunteers below and spread it to as many people as possible!
The International Solidarity Movement has been present in Gaza since 2002 to actively support the non-violent resistance of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation. This involves attending demonstrations in the so called buffer zone and sit-ins in solidarity with the prisoners in Israeli jails, accompanying farmers who cultivate land close to the border to offer them extra security, to write reports on Israeli violations of human rights and international law and supporting BDS initiatives taken by PSCABI (Palestinian Students for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel).
Please check http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/category/gaza/ to see reports and videos made by ISM Gaza.
In the near future a new fishermen accompaniment project will take of to monitor human rights violations by Israel in Gazan territorial waters. ISM Gaza will be an important partner in this project, but this requires a sufficient number of international activists, which is the main reason for this call.
Despite the fact that the presence of internationals is urgently needed, there are some requirements and recommendations for people to join ISM Gaza:
1. New war drums are constantly on the horizon in Gaza; the situation is always fragile. This unpredictability and lack of a sense of security may be difficult for people to cope with. Also, some of ISM's activities in Gaza entail a high risk to the physical integrity of the volunteers. Please consider this well before coming to Gaza.
2. Until recently ISM Gaza only accepted volunteers who had prior West Bank experience with ISM, this has changed now. However, it is still preferred for candidates to have been with ISM in the West Bank before coming to Gaza or to have experience with non-violent direct action solidarity work in the Middle-East. People who have not, should at least have experience in activism and especially with protests where they faced violent oppression.
3. People should have good writing skills, at least in their native language and preferably also in English. Minimal Arabic language skills are highly appreciated.
4. ISM volunteers agree not to engage in behavior contrary to Gazan cultural or social norms, as this does not only reflect negative on one's person, but holds the risk of hampering with ISM's reputation. Previous experience in Arabic countries is recommendable.
5. Please be aware of a possible long waiting period for entering Gaza through Rafah.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and tips for entering!
We are looking forward to seeing you here in Gaza!