The head of the Popular Committee against the Siege of Gaza has said that 2021 will be the year for Arab, Islamic and international solidarity to end the 14-year Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khudari told local media that the solidarity should come from parliamentarians, civil society and pro-Palestine groups.

“In addition to contacting legal and rights institutions to highlight the illegality of the Israeli siege on Gaza,” Al-Khodari explained, “we need to revive popular European solidarity with Gaza through marches, demonstrations and other protest activities.”

He pointed out the importance of an international committee of parliamentarians to end the siege and the revival of solidarity convoys to bring real pressure to bear on Israel. Appropriate mechanisms should be found to operate throughout the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

The independent MP said that the Israeli occupation authorities have been trying to make the siege “natural” by institutionalising it. “However, it is a collective punishment, unethical and illegal and anti-humanitarian. It is a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Al-Khodari noted that Gaza was expected to be unliveable by 2020. “So what about 2021 while the siege has been tightened and a coronavirus lockdown is in place?”

The international community, he concluded, cannot remain silent about Israel’s “ongoing crimes” against the Palestinians in the coastal territory. “The economy has been shattered and the health sector is on the verge of collapse. The future is hard to imagine.”

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