After being barred from Gaza in 2003 following the murders of Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, ISM Gaza was reinstated in August 2008 when ISM and other volunteers traveled aboard the historic, siege-breaking voyage of the first FreeGaza Movement boat. ISM has maintained a constant presence in Gaza since that time, for over two years of Israel’s crippling siege.
ISM volunteers refused to leave when Israel began bombing Gaza in December 2009. During the devastating 23-day assault, activists accompanied ambulances and provided vital testimony to the international media.
Daily life in Gaza is a harrowing struggle. Israel’s siege has made rebuilding bombed structures virtually impossible, and thousands of Gazans continue to live in tents. The siege deeply restricts Gaza’s food supply, but Israel also prohibits Gazans from producing their own food. In stark violation of international law, Israel enforces a three-nautical-mile fishing blockade. The Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ swallows up a third of Gaza’s farmland, which lies along the Israeli border. Farmers are routinely shot and killed simply for working their land well inside Gaza’s borders.
ISM Gaza volunteers accompany farmers and demonstrators in the ‘buffer zone’, as well as working to strengthen the link between Gazan students and the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/category/gaza/ to watch videos and read reports by ISM Gaza.
As the international community becomes more critical of Israel’s policies, it is vital to have individuals on the ground that can attest to the conditions inside the open-air prison of Gaza. Their voices lend strength to efforts abroad, as BDS campaigns gain momentum and freedom flotillas become pandemic.
Those interested in joining the ISM Gaza team are required to attend a preliminary training in their home country and have communicate with the volunteers in Gaza prior to arrival. Entering Gaza is an arduous process that requires some time to be spent in Egypt.
– Previous experience with organizing / activism, preferably in the Middle-East
– A historical understanding of the Palestine and some knowledge of the current political situation
– Arabic language skills
– respect for Palestinian traditions and values
– Ability to stay in Gaza for an extended period of time (over a month)
For more information about where to attend a preliminary training or other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
( palsolidarity.org/ 29.04.2011)