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End the Siege on Gaza Fax Blast!

End the Siege on Gaza Fax Blast!

In support of the global day of mobilization to ‘End the Siege of Gaza,' we're taking our protest to the internet. With one simple click, you can send a fax from our web site to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, calling for an end to the siege, which has for over a year now effectively imprisoned more than 1.5 million people and denied basic human rights in violation of international law.

Adding insult to injury, the Israeli Defense Ministry has also denied access to Gaza to over 120 health professionals from around the world who had been invited to the international conference ‘Siege and Mental Health…Walls vs. Bridges', organized by the Gaza Community Mental Health Program and the World Health Organization and long-scheduled to be held October 27-28.

Let's flood Minister Barak's offices with our condemnation of this unjust obstruction of free access for those working to find solutions to alleviate the suffering, as well as our calls for an immediate end to the siege.

Text of the message:

Mr. Ehud Barak
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense
Ministry of Defense
Fax: +972 3 691 6940

Dear Minister Barak,

Today marks the beginning of the international conference 'Siege and Mental Health...Walls vs. Bridges', organized by the Gaza Community Mental Health Program and the World Health Organization. This conference represents an opportunity for academic discussion among health professionals concerning the impact of the Gaza siege as well as an open exchange of ideas between Palestinian and international experts for the development of appropriate mental health and social services.

I am writing to express my outrage at the decision of the Israeli Defense Ministry to deny entry to Gaza to the over 120 international participants just two weeks prior to a conference that has been in the works for more than a year. Denying entry to international experts is to deny academic freedom, cultural dialogue and understanding. It is to deny support for solutions to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza, and in particular, the most vulnerable members of their community. And the conference certainly represents no threat to the security of Israel.

I applaud the efforts of the organizers and international participants in their determination to go ahead with the conference in Ramallah. The work of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program provides a source of hope, reconciliation, and in the long run, a mutually beneficial relationship between Israelis and Palestinians.

I am also writing to call for an immediate end to the siege, which has effectively imprisoned one and a half million people, including half a million children, without proper food or medical care since June 2007. The siege has significantly increased malnutrition, poverty and unemployment and led to a decline in education and health services. Without sufficient fuel and electricity, water treatment plants are shut down and hospitals are unable to provide medical care. Restrictions on movement and access in and out of Gaza further deny residents the opportunity to seek employment or health care elsewhere.

Not only are targeting civilians and collective punishment both prohibited by international law, but they also represent an immoral act in violation of basic human rights that is utterly indefensible.

Israel, which has demonstrated its complete control over Gaza, has both a legal and moral responsibility to guarantee residents access to food, clean water and medical care. Furthermore, the people of Gaza are also rightfully entitled to live a dignified life, free of despair.

I join people all over the world in calling on Israel to end this suffering. A call to end the siege is an appeal for justice, a message of peace.

To send this message, click here.

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