PRESS RELEASE – Caoimhe Butterly Irish tour to promote Free Gaza Movement’s The Hope Fleet’ sailing to Gaza in June.
Irish woman Caoimhe Butterly, who spent this year in Gaza working with the Ambulance service is touring Ireland to give a first hand account of events there and to gather support for the ‘HOPE FLEET’ a flotilla of cargo boats returning to Gaza in June.
Caoimhe is the Free Gaza coordinator in Gaza and has close links with a number of developing grassroots projects in Gaza and who have ideas about links, partnerships that people/groups here can support and be involved with.
“I believe the Israeli government policies are against international law, against human rights, against the dignity of the Palestinian people,” said Mairead Maguire who was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 and will be returning to Gaza on the boats.
It is almost four months since the end of ‘Operation Cast Lead’ that saw approximately 1,400 Palestinians killed, 313 of them children,
the community of Gaza now has over 5,000 orphans to care for. Irishman John Ging from the United Nations explained
“there is no prospect of recovery or reconstruction until we can get access for construction materials. Until we can get the humanitarian assistance in, in an unfettered way, we can’t begin the process of recovery and Gazan mothers and fathers call, not for retaliation, but for protection and accountability because they’re concerned, not just for what has happened, but for what is coming.”
The people of Gaza need to rebuild their shattered lives and infrastructure, and Israel refuses to allow anything into the small enclave except for food and some medicine. The last delivery of cement was in November 08 which has left families living on the rubble of their homes with no hope of rebuilding their lives, their homes, schools, work places as long as Israel controls their borders.
Containers left Ireland with essentials and much needed medical supplies, they arrived in Egypt in February where they joined the stockpile of other donations from around the world, all held up by Egyptian authorities who invent new pretexts to keep the aid getting to families in Gaza. Treasa NiCheannabhain went to Egypt to prevent the authorities returning the aid to Ireland, they are reported to have dumped 250,000 tons of aid in the desert this week.
This is why it is so important to support and maintain the route from Cyprus to the port of Gaza that the Free Gaza Movement opened in August last year.
“The Palestinians don’t want hand-outs from the international community. They want their lives back. They want their human and civil rights. They have a great labor force wanting to rebuild their communities. They are perfectly capable of that if their borders, including the sea border, were open,” states Lubna Masarwa, delegation leader of this flotilla.
As our governments have failed to act, we – the citizens of the world – must stand up and make our voices heard.
Tour dates, will forward updates
Fri 22 – Galway – 2pm Meeting with muslim community
7.30pm Rowing Club – public meeting
10pm fundraiser Club Deburgos
Sat 23 – Galway – tba health/group meeting
7.30 pm Kila/media at ocean race
Sun 24 Limerick – pm Absolute Hotel – public meeting
Mon 25 Limerick group meeting travel to Cork
Mon Cork pm public meeting
Tue 26 Cork group meeting travel to Dublin
Tue Dublin public meeting
Wed 27 Dublin group meeting – press/media interviews
Sat 30 Derry
Sun 31 Derry/Belfast
Mon 1 Belfast
then she’s off to Cyprus to join boat convoy.
If anyone is interested in helping out with tour please contact Niamh Moloughney