The Israeli regime persistently denies over 1.5 million people in the besieged enclave their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to decent living, work, health and education.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Derek Graham, an Irish pro-Palestinian activist in Gaza, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Graham, your take on [our previous guest] Ms. [Maxine] Dovere’s comments that says, basically, Israel is not a criminal element and the problem are with those people, those activists who wanted to go to Bethlehem.
Graham: First off, I would like to say I live in Gaza and believe me they are war criminals. I was on a fishing boat four days ago, we were inside the three-mile limit and we were shot at. We were actually within three miles of the shoreline and we were shot at. There were no weapons, there was nothing on board that boat and we were shot at. That is a war crime. I’m sorry but for that woman to come up with that statement is ludicrous.
In relation to the Flytilla, I would say that it’s actually showing Israel’s escalation. Gaza has been under siege since 2008, and they’re showing now that the West Bank is also under siege. They tried to go by land last month and they were stopped. They tried to fly and they were stopped. And the sea is closed. Therefore, the whole of Palestine is completely closed down; so, the whole of Palestine is under siege by Israel.
I think that, yes, the European governments have a lot to answer for. There was a Euro-made agreement signed for Israel to do trade with the European countries. As you know, Israel does 95 percent trade with Europe.
In this agreement there were certain things put in place, but Israel has violated nearly every one of them. And yet the European governments stand by and let it happen. For me, I think Israel needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped now because if they keep continuing the way they’re going, you’re going to end up with genocide.
Press TV: You are sitting in Gaza right now. Tell us a little bit about the status quo right now in Gaza.
Graham: First off, I would just like to go back to this woman. She has asked why people don’t go to Syria, and this is coming from the letter that Netanyahu sent out asking why activists don’t go to Syria, and about Hamas and Gaza. I will answer this very simply.
Israel started in 1948 that problems in Syria started only a couple of years ago. I think you will find that if the problems in Israel are solved, then a lot of these problems would dissolve away.
Israel is the only country this is occupying three countries at the moment. You’re occupying part of Lebanon. You’re part occupying the Golan Heights in Syria, and you’re occupying Palestine. This is three countries you’re occupying yet nobody mentions this.
If you look at the situation in Gaza, it is being created by Israel. If we had our land back to 40 years, you would find that we wouldn’t have these problems.
Press TV: You are sitting in Gaza. As I’ve asked you before, tell me the status quo of life in the Gaza Strip.
Graham: The status quo is very bad here at the moment. There’s a problem with the water; there’s a problem with the sanitation and sewerage. Electricity is sporadic, to say the best. The situation here is just getting worse everyday, and as long as Israel tries to squeeze Palestine, it’s going to continue.
The world is just standing by letting this happen. This is the shame.
I would ask this woman in New York, they have an administrative detention in the West Bank. If your child was arrested in America and put in prison for indefinitely, you’re not allowed to see any fines, you’re not allowed to be told why she was arrested, you’re not allowed to be told anything, would you go out and protest?
(Guest speaker Ms. Devore responds)
(In response to Ms. Devore) That’s not the question I asked you. That is not the question I asked you. The question I asked you was about administrative detention. Would you go out and protest if your children were arrested and were not told why they were arrested, and can be held indefinitely? This is administrative detention. Your own lawyer doesn’t find out what the charges are against you!