Jordanian Activists Launch ‘Open Gaza Ports’ Campaign to End 17-Year Israeli Blockade

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Prominent Jordanian activists, labor unions, political parties, and human rights advocates held a press conference on Monday, September 19, 2023, at the Jordanian Workers’ Party headquarters in the capital, Amman.

They launched a campaign called “Open Gaza Ports” aimed at ending the blockade imposed by Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip since 2006.

Wael Al-Saqa, the campaign’s leader, stated during the conference that “the campaign is demanding an end to the blockade on the Gaza Strip under the title ‘Open Gaza Ports,’ organized by Palestinians living abroad in more than 20 countries worldwide, to shed light on the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

Saqa emphasized that the Israeli occupation has “imposed a harsh blockade on Gaza since 2006, but people worldwide are now calling for an end to this inhumane blockade, especially at the maritime, land, and airports, to grant the Palestinian people there a portion of their freedom.”

He added that the campaign would kick off in Jordan, starting next Saturday, with various activities, including a “maritime rally in Aqaba (southern Jordan), and other events in the governorates of Amman, Zarqa, Irbid, and Karak.” He welcomed everyone to join the campaign.

Read more: Israeli Blockade Impact on Gaza in August 2023

Rula Al-Haroub, the former deputy and current Secretary-General of the Jordanian Workers’ Party, stated that “political parties, labor unions, national and parliamentary figures, as well as media outlets, are participating in the campaign to apply pressure and shed light on this suffering.” She called on Jordanian citizens to actively participate in these activities “in solidarity with the people of Gaza.”

She further explained that the campaign aims to “raise awareness about the unlawful, unethical, and inhumane blockade that the residents of Gaza are enduring. All entry points are closed, and the water is no longer suitable for human consumption.”

Al-Haroub pointed out that the blockade has left “over 83% of Gaza’s population living below the poverty line, the healthcare sector is in a state of collapse, and there are significant challenges in the education sector. The Gaza Strip is experiencing a campaign of ethnic cleansing.”

Mohammed Abu Sa’alik, a member of the Palestinian Committee in the Jordanian Parliament, stated that the committee has been informed about the campaign’s details and objectives. They are working within the committee to “respond appropriately” to the campaign.

In a recorded statement, Ziyad Al-Awloul, the General Coordinator of the International Palestinian Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza, declared that “the time has come for a movement led by the free people of the world in all countries and regions that have joined the campaign, and are determined to break the siege imposed on Gaza for 17 years.”

He demanded the reopening of Gaza’s port, the operation of its airport, and the entry of medical supplies, building materials, and essential items through all crossings, following the destruction the region suffered due to Israeli wars.

Participants in the press conference expressed their support for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza and called for finding solutions, including a maritime passage for Gaza.

The Israeli occupation has imposed a blockade on Gaza for over 17 years, directly affecting various aspects of life in the region, including mobility, access to medical treatment, and reconstruction efforts, following five wars waged by Israel on the Gaza Strip.

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