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Koreans Protest Israeli Attack on Palestinians in Gaza
Demonstrations this week and a letter by civil society organizations to Israel's embassy in Seoul
Jay Hauben (jhauben)     Print Article 
Published 2009-01-06 16:57 (KST)   

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As the Israeli attack on the people in Gaza intensifies, more and more people are demonstrating in opposition to the Israeli action and in support of the people trapped in Gaza.

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There have been such actions in South Korea. The following describes a press conference held at the Israeli Embassy in Seoul. It is followed by a letter delivered to the embassy.

Korean Action Against Israeli Killing the Palestinian People of the Gaza Strip

Sixteen Korean civil society organizations and progressive political parties held a press conference Dec. 30 condemning Israeli bombardment and blockade of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip in front of the Israeli Embassy.

After the conference, they delivered a letter to the Israeli Embassy which urged that the bombing and killing of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip be stopped.

They planned two demonstrations in front of the Israeli Embassy this week. The first demonstration was Jan. 5 at noon. A follow-up action, a candlelight vigil, will be held Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. in front of the Israeli Embassy near Gwanghwamun Square.

Letter Delivered to the Israeli Embassy in Seoul, Dec. 30, 2008
We Urge Israel to Stop Massacre and Blockade of the Gaza Strip

Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip has been conducted since Dec. 27, 2008. In first two days, more than 100 tons, causing 345 Palestinians killed and 1450 wounded. It also destroyed not only the governmental offices, but also colleges, broadcasting stations, Islamic Mosques. In addition, Israel declared that they would launch an all-out-war by mobilizing ground troops and tanks.

Since the war in 1967, Israel has occupied the Gaza Strip and committed crimes such as murder, detention, torture, and violence against Palestinians in Gaza. In addition, after Hamas came to power in the last election in January 2006, Israel started in June a military action, named 'Operation Summer Rain' and hundreds of Palestinian were killed. However, their military attack did not lead to the collapse of Hamas. Even though Israel and the U.S. also tried to instigate an internal coup in Palestine, they failed to topple Hamas but rather helped Hamas to increase its support in the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israel strengthened a blockade policy in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has resulted in menacing the Palestinians' right to live. Power plants stopped running and vehicles could not move, due to cut-off of oil supply. Patients had to face death since they could not go to a hospital in Egypt and Israel, and medicines ran out of fuel. The limited food supply led to the surge of food price and hundreds of thousand people could do nothing but rely on external aid.

As the brutal blockade continued, the protests against the policy increased all over the world. Last January 2008, the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip toppled the wall at the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in order to get food and medicine, and last August international human rights activists crossed the sea to deliver hearing-aids for the children in Gaza. Despite these protests and resistance, Israel continued the blockade.

The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which lasted for six months, ended on Dec. 19, 2008 because of the Israeli blockade. Many Palestinians expected their life would get better through the ceasefire. However, despite the ceasefire, the blockade continued and Palestinians renounced the ceasefire which did not protect their lives.

Then, Israel launched a massive air strike in Gaza. This attack is intended to make Palestinians give in and to put the Israeli ruling party in a better position through the hawkish policy against Palestine in the February election in Israel in 2009. The Israeli ruling party makes innocent Palestinians the scapegoats for their political success. Nevertheless, the U.S. responded as if the attack should be blamed on Hamas and the Palestinians.

At the moment, there are 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, isolated from the external world and Israel is making their lives a hell. Israel should immediately stop the massacre and blockade. The U.S. should stop supporting the slaughterer, Israel.

The international call for Israel to stop the massacre is spreading in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, the U.S. and Britain. Even in Korea, many citizens, civil society, and political parties urge Israel to stop the massacre and blockade, and move to work for solidarity with Palestinians. As long as the Israeli massacre and blockade of the Gaza Strip continues, our action calling for justice and peace in Palestine will continue.

# Stop the bombing and killing the Palestinian people of Gaza Strip now!
# Lift the Israeli blocking on Gaza strip now!
# The U.S., stop political military backing Israel now!

Dec. 30. 2008

16 Korean civil society organizations and progressive parties:

All Together
Democratic Labor Party(DLP),
Imagination for Intrernational Solidarity,
Jinbokorea-Corean Progressive Movement Coalition.
Korea Confederation of Trade Union(KCTU),
Korean Federation of Medical Groups for Health Rights(KFHR),
Korean House for International Solidarity,
Lawyers for a Democratic Society,
NANUMMUNHWA-Global Peace Sharing,
New Progressive Party,
Palestine Peace Solidarity,
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD),
People's Solidarity for Social Progress(PSSP),
Power of Working Class,
Socialist Party,
The Frontier

Should Israel implement a cease-fire in Gaza?  (2009-01-02 ~ 2009-01-26)
I don't know
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Jay Hauben

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