July 26, 2018
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
US Department of State
The 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla after a 70-day trip from Scandinavia stopping in ports in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy, departed Sicily and is now heading across the Mediterranean to Gaza to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.
The representative of the United States, U.S. Navy survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty ship, Joe Meadors, is on board the ship Al Awda with a number of other prominent human rights advocates from around the world.
The flotilla carries 116 boxes of urgently needed medical supplies, primarily sterile gauze and sutures, to be gifted to Gaza’s over-stretched health services due to the execution of 140 Palestinians in Gaza and severe injury to over 16,000 Palestinians by the Israeli Occupation Forces in the past two months during the Friday Great Return Marches.
The three boats of the flotilla will be gifted to Gaza’s fishers who are now having to fish within three miles of the shore due to Israel’s lethal enforcement of a Israeli declared fishing zone in Gaza waters. One boat is a fishing trawler and two are sailboats.
Like previous similar humanitarian missions, this flotilla with unarmed, civilian human rights activists poses no threat to Israel. Israel’s own actions toward Palestinians is what causes Israel to feel threatened.
However, in light of Israel’s unwarranted and illegal interception and seizure of previous Gaza-bound civilian boats in international waters, with this open letter, we call on the Government of the United States to urgently demand that Israeli authorities end their inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla safe and unhindered passage to their destination — the port of Gaza City.
We look forward to your prompt response.
Retired US Army Reserve Colonel, and
Former US diplomat who resigned in March 2003
In opposition to the war on Iraq