Israel has held the Gaza Strip under siege since the Hamas Islamic resistance movement won the Palestinian authority’s elections in 2006.
Israel launched a massive assault on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, devastating the infrastructure and killing 1,300 people.
Mona el-Farra, a doctor in the Gaza Strip, told Socialist Worker, “We are living in a big prison. Little aid gets through. Cement to rebuild homes that Israel destroyed is not allowed through.”
The level of desperation was seen last weekend when six people died attempting to smuggle a gas canister into Gaza. It exploded in a tunnel between Egypt and Rafah. Since the blockade started 146 people have died in tunnel cave-ins.
“When we heard what had happened to the convoy, crowds came from all over the Gaza Strip to the harbour to condemn Israel,” says Mona.
“Israel wants to intimidate international activists to stop them supporting us. People have sacrificed their lives to try to bring us aid. Their heroic act shows us that we are not alone.”