Australian presence in Gaza freedom March

Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group member, Marlene Obeid, will be traveling on Christmas Eve to the Middle East to join a peace convergence - the Gaza Freedom March.

Ms Obeid and another 13 Australians will be part of a contingent of approximately 1,000 peace activists who have signed up to take part in this world event called in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to put an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The march is scheduled to depart by 31 December from Izbet Abed Rabbo, an area devastated during last winter's Israeli assault, and head towards Erez, the crossing point to Israel at the northern end of the Gaza Strip.

The peace activist said: "The Gaza Freedom March is inspired by decades of non-violent Palestinian resistance.

"Israel's siege of Gaza is illegal and inhuman. Palestinians of Gaza have exhorted the international community to move beyond words of condemnation. Yet, the siege of Gaza continues", Ms Obeid added

The march is timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the devastating Israeli attack that killed 1,434 Palestinians in Gaza, the vast majority civilians.

By heading towards Erez, organizers wish to highlight Israel's responsibility for the siege, a point emphasized in the UN-commissioned Goldstone report that found Israel responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"Erez is the main gate from Gaza to the Israeli apartheid state," Ms Obeid said, "so marching there is also a signal of rejection by internationals of the actions of the Israeli apartheid regime."

This peace world march is being endorsed by well-known intellectuals and authors, such as Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Tariq Ali, Alice Walker; filmmaker Oliver Stone and many more.

The Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group is part of the collective coordinating the Sydney Vigil of Sunday 27 December starting at 5.00pm at Sydney Town Hall and which forms part of the Gaza Freedom March world activities.

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For information contact: Marlene Obeid on 0401 758 871 or Raul Bassi on 0403037376