For more information, please contact:
Cyprus:  Greta Berlin: +357-9908 1767 –
Cyprus :  Osama Qashoo:  +357-9779 3595 –
Jerusalem: Angela Godfrey-Goldstein: +972-547366393

Free GazaFREE GAZA MOVEMENT announces the arrival at 20:30 (10:30am PDT), Friday 29 August, 2008 of the FREE GAZA and LIBERTY vessels, in Larnaca Harbour, returning from Gaza, and a successful end to this first of such missions.

The historic return voyage represents the first time ever that Palestinians have been able freely to enter and leave their country.  The Free Gaza Movement will mark this historic moment with a reception at Larnaca Harbour , as will Palestinians in Gaza , as both boats return safely from Gazan and international waters after a calm and uneventful crossing.

Organiser Paul Larudee:  “This endeavour has been a huge success, far more significant and wide-reaching than anyone ever dreamt it could be.  It has had obvious beneficial effects on the Palestinian people, but also on Israel . In fairness, credit must go where credit is due — despite threats or obstacles, a responsible decision was made by Israeli authorities not to interfere with our mission and this is a model for the future.”

As reported by the world press, news has travelled worldwide of the Free Gaza Movement.  Supportive messages have come in, including from UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the OPT, Richard Falk, who wrote:

“The landing of two wooden boats carrying 46 human rights activists in Gaza is an important symbolic victory. This non-violent initiative of the Free Gaza Movement focused attention around the world on the stark reality that the 1.5 million residents of Gaza have endured a punitive siege for more than a year. This siege is a form of collective punishment that constitutes a massive violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  The siege, the coastal blockade, and overflights by Israeli aircraft all bear witness to the fact that despite Israel’s claimed ‘disengagement’ in 2005, these realities on the ground establish that Gaza remains under Israeli occupation, and as a result Israel remains legally responsible for protecting the human rights of its civilian population. By severely restricting the entry of food, fuel, and medicine the economic and social rights of the people of Gaza have been systematically violated. There is widespread deafness among the people of Gaza that is blamed on the frequent sonic booms produced by over-flying Israeli military aircraft. For this reason the peace boats brought 200 hearing aids to Gaza.”

Mr. Falk strongly urged the international community to take action to uphold human rights in the Gaza Strip.

“Above all, what is being tested is whether the imaginative engagement of dedicated private citizens can influence the struggle of a beleaguered people for basic human rights, and whether their courage and commitment can awaken the conscience of humanity to an unfolding tragedy.”

Or, in the words of Palestinian voyager, Musheir El-Farra, originally born and raised in Khan Younis in Gaza but currently living in Sheffield , UK :

“For the first time in my life, I went to Gaza without being humiliated, without having to ask Israel for permission.  We did it.  We finally did it.  And now others must join us and do it as well.”

Huwaida on Al Jazeera Intnl. vs Israeli spokesman:
and Part 2:

Editor’s Note:

Typically, the mainstream media have completely ignored this historic mission, so if you have access to a Website please spread this release. Ed.

Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape by Raja Shehadeh

JfJfP: special book offer + campaigning workshop
— special offer —

buy a book and give money to a Palestinian cause

Raja Shehadeh is the WINNER OF THE 2008 ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING. He will be speaking at a JfJfP meeting on Wednesday 17th September (details below).

The book costs £7.99 (post free) and of that WE WILL GIVE THREE POUNDS (£3.00) to Al-Haq, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists.

Send your cheque payable to JfJfP to: JfJfP, P O Box 46081, London W9 2ZF. And if you come along on 17th September you will be able to buy the book and the author will sign copies of his book after the meeting.


“The book describes over two decades of turmoil and change in the Middle East, steered via the history-soaked landscape of Palestine. A lawyer and human rights activist of independent temper, Raja has always found much-needed peace by taking walks in the Palestinian hills – a landscape which, owing to occupation, Jewish settlements and disastrous environmental policies, is fast disappearing.”

‘Intensely political while avoiding the excesses of pure polemic, Shehadeh’s account of six different Palestinian walks continually grapples with misconceptions and mis-information…Shehadeh is always engaging. There’s such an eccentricity to his approach, commenting on dinosaur footprints in the rock one moment, challenging Israeli law the next … it’s a remarkable way of going about things, delivering what many activists neglect to mention: the odd, slightly absurd details that really touch people; things that appear off-camera, away from news reports – things that seem real.’Independent on Sunday

Raja Shehadeh is also the author of the highly praised When the Bulbul Stopped Singing and Strangers in the House. A Palestinian lawyer and writer who lives in Ramallah, he is a founder of the pioneering human rights organisation, Al-Haq, in Ramallah in 1979 and the author of several books about international law, human rights and the Middle East.


JfJfP meeting with Raja Shehadeh Wednesday 17th September at 7.00 pm Venue: The Slug and Lettuce, 1 Islington Green (opp. Screen on the Green) 7.00 – 9.00 pm Tube: Angel; Buses 19, 30, 43, 38, 73, 341

Campaigning Workshop Sunday, 21 September, London

Further to our decision to organise a campaigns workshop, Isabelle Fermaux has agreed to lead one on September 21st from about 10.00 to 4.00 at a venue in London to be arranged.

As an organisation committed to advancing a cause which has powerful adversaries, we need to campaign both to raise awareness of the issues and to achieve change. However there are obstacles in the way for all of us. We need to learn to target our campaigns effectively, to maintain the pressure, to work with other groups with whom we may not necessarily be in total agreement, to recruit others to the campaigns, and to enhance our own confidence in working in a field that may be unfamiliar to us.

This is a great opportunity to improve the effectiveness of our campaigning work. If you are interested in attending the workshop, do let us know as soon as possible by email to: Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.