A letter of thanks To Cyprus government For facilitation freedom ships access to blockaded Gaza strip
To: Greek Cypriot Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer
WITNESS ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS extends thanks and appreciation to the government of Cyprus, for facilitating access of freedom ships, heading to Gaza, to run economic blockade, which had been laid by the Israeli occupation army on Gaza strip, for about two years. It is worth noting that 1.4 million citizens are living in Gaza on an area of 363km and 70% refugees are living in nine camps.
As Witness association emphasizes that Gaza strip is still under Israeli occupation in accordance to its legal status, and that there are legal obligations on the state of occupation according to the international humanitarian law and the international law of human rights, in particular, providing all the necessary needs of civilians living under occupation. Witness association considers civilian’s blockade not only a violation to the principles of the international law, a crime of war, but also a crime against humanity.
Realizing dangers of imposing blockade on civilians pushed Cypriot Government to facilitate freedom ships access to break the blockade. It is worth mentioning that the Cypriot Government also realizes that there are clear obligations imposed on the contracting parties which are mentioned in fourth Geneva Convention in this regard.
The extreme continuous political pressures that were imposed upon Cypriot Government were in vain since the objective of the freedom ships is crystal clear, and is not subject to politics.
Cypriot government acted by virtue of specific humanitarian beliefs of its own. The catastrophic consequences caused by the siege are unimaginable.
Civilians in Gaza strip are paying highly costs in all aspects of life.
The above mentioned drive taken by Cypriot government deserves high appreciation, whereas the contracting parties of fourth Geneva Convention are called to taking same steps to lift the blockade laid on civilians in Gaza strip.
Witness Association for Human Rights