From December 27th 2008 to January 18th 2009 Israeli bombers pounded Gaza. The Israeli assault was the most violent since the occupation began in 1967. On the eighth day of the attack Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) entered Gaza and remained there for two weeks. Throughout the 22 days of the assault civilians were delierately targeted, hospitals were attacked, schools were bombed and 1417 people were killed, including at least 318 children.
The international Palestine solidarity movement is calling for January 2010, the first anniversary of the massacre, to be a month of solidarity actions in support for the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. One such call has come from the Free Gaza movement, whose volunteers broke the siege in order to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza during the massacre.
On December 27th demonstrations, commemorating the first day of the massacre, were held in Brighton, Sheffield, Liverpool and Birmingham while a thousand strong demonstration was held outside the Israeli embassy in London. Elsewhere Manchester's Target Brimar campaign has called for 22 days of waging peace, incuding several actions against Manchester based arms manufacturer, Brimar, who supply equipment used in Israeli fighter aircraft, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called for a week of action, from the 9th to the 17th of January, against supermarkets selling Israeli goods, a mass 'die in' is planned in Trafalgar Square on the 16th and Smash EDO have called for a mass demonstration against EDO MBM/ITT, now ITT Integrated Structures, who supply components for F-15s and F-16s used by the Israeli military.
The Viva Palestina convoy was supposed to arrive in Gaza today, breaking the siege and bringing much needed medicine and rebuilding materials. However, the convoy has not been allowed to enter Egypt and has been in Aqabah, Jordan, since December 25th. On the 27th the convoy members began a hunger strike calling for the Egyptian government to allow them to enter. Activists are also arriving in Egypt to join the Gaza Freedom March, a march from Egypt into Gaza and to the Erez crossing. Freedom marchers have already suffered repression from the Egyptian authorities with dozens arrested (and then released) and a Gaza massacre memorial in Cairo shut down.