[News] Israel attacks boat - kidnaps activists

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jun 30 11:19:53 EDT 2009


Rizzo • Jun 30th, 2009 at 14:48 •

For more information contact: Greta Berlin 
(English) tel: +357 99 081 767 / 
<mailto:friends at freegaza.org>friends at freegaza.org 
Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish): tel: 
+357 99 077 820 / 
<mailto:sahara78 at hotmail.co.uk>sahara78 at hotmail.co.uk 
www.FreeGaza.org  [23 miles off the coast of 
Gaza, 15:30pm] - Today Israeli Occupation Forces 
attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, 
the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights 
workers from 11 countries, including Noble 
laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. 
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers).

The passengers and crew are being forcibly 
dragged toward Israel. “This is an outrageous 
violation of international law against us. Our 
boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a 
human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said 
Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and 
presidential candidate. “President Obama just 
told Israel to let in humanitarian and 
reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what 
we tried to do. We're asking the international 
community to demand our release so we can resume 
our journey.” According to an International 
Committee of the Red Cross report released 
yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.”

Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed 
earlier during Israel’s December/January massacre 
are still without shelter despite pledges of 
almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel 
refuses to allow cement and other building 
material into the Gaza Strip. The report also 
notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the 
needs of their patients due to Israel’s 
disruption of medical supplies. “The aid we were 
carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of 
Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for 
them, and they would be able to transport their 
own materials to begin to reconstruct the 
schools, hospitals and thousands of homes 
destroyed during the onslaught of "Cast Lead”. 
Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza 
that we stand by them and that they are not 
alone" said fellow passenger Mairead Maguire, 
winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in 
Northern Ireland. Just before being kidnapped by 
Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement 
chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this 
voyage, stated that: “No one could possibly 
believe that our small boat constitutes any sort 
of threat to Israel. We carry medical and 
reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Our 
passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate 
and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was 
searched and received a security clearance by 
Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and 
at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters.” 
Arraf continued, “Israel’s deliberate and 
premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a 
clear violation of international law and we 
demand our immediate and unconditional release.


CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Justice tel: +972 
2646 6666 or +972 2646 6340 fax: +972 2646 6357
CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
tel: +972 2530 3111 fax: +972 2530 3367
CONTACT Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office 
at: tel: +972 5 0620 3264 or +972 2670 5354 
<mailto:mark.regev at it.pmo.gov.il>mark.regev at it.pmo.gov.il
CONTACT the International Committee of the Red 
Cross to ask for their assistance in establishing 
the wellbeing of the kidnapped human rights 
workers and help in securing their immediate 
release! Red Cross Israel tel: +972 3524 5286 
fax: +972 3527 0370 
<mailto:tel_aviv.tel at icrc.org>tel_aviv.tel at icrc.org 
Red Cross Switzerland: tel: +41 22 730 3443 fax: 
+41 22 734 8280 Red Cross USA: tel: +1 212 599 6021 fax: +1 212 599 6009 ###

Kidnapped Passengers from the Spirit of Humanity 
include: Khalad Abdelkader, Bahrain Khalad is an 
engineer representing the Islamic Charitable Association of Bahrain.

Othman Abufalah, Jordan Othman is a 
world-renowned journalist with al-Jazeera TV.

Khaled Al-Shenoo, Bahrain Khaled is a lecturer with the University of Bahrain.

Mansour Al-Abi, Yemen Mansour is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera TV.

Fatima Al-Attawi, Bahrain Fatima is a relief 
worker and community activist from Bahrain.

Juhaina Alqaed, Bahrain Juhaina is a journalist & human rights activist.

Huwaida Arraf, US Huwaida is the Chair of the 
Free Gaza Movement and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

Ishmahil Blagrove, UK Ishmahil is a Jamaican-born 
journalist, documentary film maker and founder of 
the Rice & Peas film production company. His 
documentaries focus on international struggles for social justice.

Kaltham Ghloom, Bahrain Kaltham is a community activist.

Derek Graham, Ireland Derek Graham is an 
electrician, Free Gaza organizer, and first mate aboard the Spirit of Humanity.

Alex Harrison, UK Alex is a solidarity worker 
from Britain. She is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Denis Healey, UK Denis is Captain of the Spirit 
of Humanity. This will be his fifth voyage to Gaza.

Fathi Jaouadi, UK Fathi is a British journalist, 
Free Gaza organizer, and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

Mairead Maguire, Ireland Mairead is a Nobel 
laureate and renowned peace activist.

Lubna Masarwa, Palestine/Israel Lubna is a 
Palestinian human rights activist and Free Gaza organizer.

Theresa McDermott, Scotland Theresa is a 
solidarity worker from Scotland. She is traveling 
to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Cynthia McKinney, US Cynthia McKinney is an 
outspoken advocate for human rights and social 
justice issues, as well as a former U.S. 
congressperson and presidential candidate.

Adnan Mormesh, UK Adnan is a solidarity worker 
from Britain. He is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Adam Qvist, Denmark Adam is a solidarity worker 
from Denmark. He is traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

Adam Shapiro, US Adam is an American documentary 
film maker and human rights activist. Kathy 
Sheetz, US Kathy is a nurse and film maker, 
traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

### ­ In Solidarity from all International 
Movement to Open Rafah Border 
"Only a united world against oppression will help 
unite and free all of Palestine."

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement 
and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, 
including his own, and to return to his country

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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