Birmingham UK show solidarity with Gaza

A group gathered together near the Bullring in Birmingham yesterday (23.1.2007) to show their solidarity with the people of Gaza. Passers by took leaflets and candles were lit to remind us that lights have gone out in Gaza because of the inhumane blockade by the Israeli government.
There are further rallies being held across the globe, including London and again in Birmingham on Saturday, 26th January.

Letter from Chris Khamis about the demonstration in Birmingham and urging us to take further action:
Dear All,
The Gaza vigil this evening (23rd Jan 08) in Birmingham City Centre
was a big success. With less than 2 days notice somewhere between 30
and 50 people turned out to make their feelings known about the
disgraceful and inhumane blockade of Gaza. Thanks to all who turned
out on a windy night. Yet we even managed to get a few candles lit
in solidarity, despite the wind. A few photos were taken which, if
we can get them in the media, help in showing people in Gaza that
they are not forgotten.
Despite the blowing down of part of the wall between Gaza and Egypt,
the siege is likely to continue. There are two things you can do:
(a) Write to your MP – a draft letter is attached at the end
includes all the Early Day Motions for information and which you can
amend/edit to give it a personal flavour. The attached also explains
how you can send the letter electronically.
(b) Join us this Saturday, 26th January, which is an
International Day of Action calling for the ending of the siege of
Gaza. In Birmingham we will be holding a special leafleting and
petition gathering:
• between 11 am and 1 pm in Victoria Square, Birmingham City
Centre; and
• between 2 and 4 pm outside Marks and Spencer on High Street,
Birmingham. City Centre.
You don’t have to come for all 4 hours. Any help you can give will
be gratefully received.
Once again, thanks for all your help,
Chris Khamis
West Mids PSC
Please urgently write a letter to your MP about the current situation
in Gaza. A draft of a possible letter is shown below, but please
remember to change it a little and personalise it.
You can either send the letter by post (address on the draft) or you
can do it by going to
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Dear ,
I am writing to you about the blockade of Gaza which is creating an
urgent humanitarian situation.
Israel has imposed a total closure on the Strip’s border crossings,
even preventing the delivery of essential humanitarian aid. Over 80
per cent of Gaza ‘s population rely on food aid from the United
Nations or other agencies. Over 70 Gazans have died as a result of
Israel preventing patients with serious medical conditions from
accessing treatment outside the Gaza Strip.
This catastrophic cutting of fuel supplies is already seriously
affecting hospitals, supplies of fresh water and sewage systems, has
removed heating and lighting from 800,000 people, and making it
impossible for those few factories which have managed to remain open
despite the blockade.
In carrying out these actions, the Israeli government is violating
the strict prohibition on collective punishment of a civilian
population in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Even if the Israelis allow some supplies in occasionally, as just
announced, this stop-go approach to urgent humanitarian supplies
still creates miserable and life-threatening conditions for
Palestinians living in Gaza.
You must demand that our government works to end the blockade and
growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, ensuring the free flow of
supplies by land, sea or air, and helps to broker the ceasefire which
civilians on both sides desperately need.
Could you also sign the following Early Day Motions 732, 305, 698 and
Yours faithfully,
EDM 732
That this House is appalled at the continued and wholly preventable
humanitarian crisis in Gaza; unreservedly condemns Israel for cutting
off fuel supplies and preventing other vital supplies entering from
Israel; and calls upon the Government to make all efforts to ensure
that Israel lifts the siege with immediate effect.
EDM 698
That this House notes with extreme concern the report from the
Ministry of Health in Gaza that as a result of the Israeli blockade
supplies of food and medical equipment are nearly exhausted in the
hospitals and clinics in Gaza; and calls upon the Government to take
every action possible to ensure the lifting of the blockade and the
supply of food and medical equipment to Gaza.
EDM 624
That this House notes the financial pledges of around £7.4 billion
from 90 countries to be made to Palestine in the follow-up to the
formal re-launch of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations last month
in Annapolis; notes with considerable alarm Israel’s overnight
extrajudicial killings of 12 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West
Bank in a series of air attacks, bringing the number of extrajudicial
killing operations launched since September 2000 to at least 256,
killing at least 612 Palestinians; and calls upon the Government to
apply what pressure it can to ensure Israel ceases these
extrajudicial killings which have become symbolic of its disregard
for international law in Articles 6 and 4 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
EDM 305
That this House expresses grave concern about the humanitarian
situation in Gaza and the decision by the State of Israel to declare
it a hostile entity; notes that this further isolated the 1.5 million
Palestinian residents of this occupied territory, 1.1 million of whom
have to survive on food handouts; further notes that shortages of
medical supplies are reported by the United Nations; considers that
future Israeli measures could involve cutting off crucial supplies
including food, fuel, electricity and water; believes that such
measures would not deter the firing of Kassam rockets but would have
a devastating effect on the humanitarian situation in Gaza with a
detrimental impact on public health; further believes that the
continued political and economic isolation of Gaza will jeopardise
the prospects for a lasting peace and for any future negotiations to
be credible and successful; and therefore calls upon the UK
Government to make the strongest possible representations to the
Israeli government that such measures are wholly unacceptable and
tantamount to collective punishment and a breach of the Fourth Geneva

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