Goin’ to Gaza

Hello Friends,

Well I’m unexpectedly on my way to Gaza in just few days.  It all started with a casual comment I made to an IHH official, during the November 6th 2012 Istanbul trial of the 4 Israeli generals who attacked the Mavi Marmara (I testified, mainly by presenting my photos).  I more or less forgot about my Gaza comment, until a Palestinian Authority visa suddenly appeared in my email in-box on Boxing Day.  Since that moment I have been scrambling to get the appropriate approvals, visas and letters from the Egyptian embassy and Foreign Affairs department.  The final visa arrived just a week ago, so now I’m at the stage of lining up accommodation, taxis to the border and a volunteer job in Gaza during my 5 week stay.  

Initially I was only planning to show a film about the Mavi Marmara, give some talks, visit a vocational school or two and do a bit of human rights observer/shield work. Now I have been asked to join a project called the ” Gaza Buffer Zone project”.  This involves professional researchers going out into the formerly off limits , Israeli designated shoot to kill, 1 km wide buffer zone along the Israeli border.  Once there these experts will then ascertain the condition of the land and what is needed to rehabilitate the soil, and report these findings to other international NGOs for further action.  My job will be to accompany these researchers and act as their protective witness, as up to now, in spite of the cease fire agreement Israel signed, they are still shooting at anyone who enters this area.  As well, the project researchers will be accompanying fishers who are trying to fish in the sea out to the new 6 km limit.  And again, even though this was agreed to by the Israelis with the cease fire, they are still shooting at fishers, kidnapping them and confiscating their boats if they try to fish beyond the old 3 km limit.  Coming from a commercial fisher family, and being a marine engineer, this part of the project is right up my alley.  

I will try my best to document what I see and hear and post anything worthy on this blog.  I’ll also be sending out tweets (@KevinNeish) in case something immediately important happens. 

As with my past solidarity trips, my best protection and the protection of the people I’m with, is that as many caring people as possible know where I am and what I’m doing.  So please feel free to pass my blog and tweet info around to other activist friends of yours.  Although I have not used it at all recently, I do have a Face Book page and will try to update it if something worthy of note happens.

Thanks for your interest and support.  Hopefully I’ll talk to you all some time soon.  

Bye for now.

Kevin

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Godspeed,Kevin – and may good fortune attend your mission and your safe return
    Your fellow Canadians, Keith and Marnie Elliott

    Reply

  2. We will continue to recognize thank all those who helped us in word. And in our case the issue of justice.
    Special thanks to Mr.Kevin
    Best wishes
    Shatha Abu Jami

    Reply

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