[News] Israel warships intercept Gaza aid boat

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Sep 28 10:17:49 EDT 2010

Israel warships intercept Gaza aid boat

Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:40AM

Israeli warships have intercepted a Jewish aid boat bound for the 
blockaded Gaza Strip, forcefully diverting the aid vessel to the 
Israeli port of Ashdod.

"Ten Israeli warships forced the boat to head for (the Israeli port) 
of Ashdod by force, but without raiding the ship," Amjad al-Shawa, a 
Gaza-based organizer told AFP.

"They surrendered because they were surrounded. They had no choice," 
he further explained.

The British-flagged aid vessel Irene was carrying seven Jewish 
activists from Israel, Britain, Germany and the United States, and 
two journalists, one of whom is an Israeli.

Earlier, Yonatan Shapira, one of the Israeli activists on board, said 
the navy had contacted the boat and ordered the crew to change course.

"They said we were approaching an area under naval blockade and told 
us to change course," Shapira told AFP by satellite telephone, saying 
the boat was about 20 miles from the Gaza coast.

The Israeli forces also warned that the passengers and crew would be 
held legally liable if they insisted on heading to Gaza, especially 
those with Israeli nationality.

The Israeli army did not immediately comment on the report and 
declined to confirm that contact had been made with the boat.

On May 31, Israeli navy commandos killed nine Turkish activists 
onboard a civilian aid convoy while it was in international waters.

A report by the UN Human Rights Council said the attack on the Gaza 
Freedom Flotilla "constituted grave violations of human rights law 
and international humanitarian law."

The UN probe also termed as 'unlawful' the continuation of the 
blockade that has caused great physical and mental harm to the Gaza residents.


Jewish Boat to Gaza boarded by Israeli forces and taken toward Ashdod port

For immediate release

28 September, 2010

Jewish Boat to Gaza boarded by Israeli forces and taken toward Ashdod port

The Irene, a boat carrying nine passengers and aid for Gaza's 
population has been taken over by the Israeli navy and denied access to Gaza.

The boat is flying a British flag and its passengers include citizens 
of the US, the UK, Germany and Israel. Two journalists are also on board.

Last contact with the boat's captain, Glyn Secker, was at 0937 GMT, 
when their path had been cut off by a Destroyer. Recent reports from 
other news sources indicated that the boat has been surrounded and 
boarded. At this point they were less than 20 miles from Gaza's 
shore. Since then all phones went dead.

The occupied Gaza Strip's territorial waters end 12 nautical miles 
from shore, but the Israeli blockade is enforced at 20 miles from shore.

Israeli attorney Smadar Ben Natan who is representing the passengers 
has asked to see her clients immediately.

Local group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has asked for 
permission to send an independent doctor to visit the passengers 
immediately, after hearing from organizers that at least one 
passenger suffers from serious chronic health problems and is in need 
of medical care.

Speaking from London, a member of the organizing group, Richard Kuper 
of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, has condemned the Israeli 
army's apparent action and said that this boat and its fate are a 
symbol of the chances for peace in the region. The way it is being 
treated by Israeli authorities indicates that they have no real 
intentions of reaching peace, he said. He called for worldwide 
support for the boat and its message of protest against the siege of 
Gaza and the occupation.

European Jews for a Just Peace, Jews for Justice for Palestinians 
(UK), Juedische Stimme fuer einen gerechten Frieden in Nahost 
(Germany), American Jews for a Just Peace (USA), Jewish Voice for 
Peace (USA), Jews Against the Occupation Sydney.

Visit <http://www.jewishboattogaza.org/>www.jewishboattogaza.org and 
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