New Delhi (12/12/2010): SIO is part of the Asia Life Line to Gaza Road Caravan which started from New Delhi on 2nd December 2010. The convoy which was flagged off by Manishankar Aiyer (Senior Congress Leader) from Rajghat is Asia’s first humanitarian aid to Palestine. A number of 200 members of the Iranian parliament in a statement voiced support and solidarity with the Asian continent’s first humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza which arrived in Iran on December 9.Activists accompany the Asian Gaza Solidarity Caravan, organized by the Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine, a coalition of social movements, trade unions and civil society institutions, student activists of the region. Shaheen KM, Central Advisory Council Member of SIO is the official delegate representing Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) in the caravan. Former SIO National President Bashiruddin Sharqi is also the part of this caravan.
The convoy is slated to travel to Pakistan via the Wagah border and then on to Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, entering Gaza through the Rafah Crossing around December 28. “The caravan will be joined by more people as it passes through the various countries. Eventually, we will be a more than 200-strong contingent, in addition to the 50-odd activists from India. We firmly believe that the occupation is against international law and we will show the people of Palestine that the people of India are with them in their struggle,” said Zafarul Islam Khan, editor of the Milli Gazette. The event was attended by senior Congress leaders Mani Shankar Aiyer and Digvijay Singh. Praising the initiative, Mani Shankar Aiyer said, “I congratulate the organisers for taking Mahatma Gandhi’s message of non-violence from Rajghat to Gaza.”
The caravan is a revolutionary solidarity to the courageous people of Palestine in their struggle and resistance against the occupation of their land. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories has lasted for more than six decades in violation of international law, international humanitarian law and numerous United Nations resolutions. The occupation of Palestine must end! Gaza has been turned into a vast open-air-prison-cum-concentration camp for its 1.5 million inhabitants. The Palestinian population in the West Bank and in Jerusalem is under continuous repression, assaults and in a permanent state of siege due to the ever expanding settlements & the apartheid wall. The Palestinian people must have the freedom to exercise their right to self-determination including their right to establish on all the territories that Israel has occupied an independent sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital. The structure of Zionist apartheid, based on ethno-religious discrimination that Israel has established, must be dismantled and it must grant equal rights to all its citizens, including the “Right of Return” to the Palestinians refugees