THIS PIRACY THAT HAVE COME TO ME VIA EMAIL.
PLEASE DO WHAT YOU CAN.
CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE PEOPLE.
LET THEM KNOW THIS IS INTOLERABLE.
THIS ROGUE COUNTRY OVERSTEPS ITSELF.
Kidnaps Human Rights Workers;
Confiscates Medicine, Toys and Olive Trees
By Free Gaza
June 30, 2009
"Free Gaza "
[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."
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
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
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
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. Here is what Cynthia has had to say about recent events. I Sent a Message to the President about My Trip to Gaza . . .
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.
For more information contact:
Greta Berlin (English)
tel: +357 99 081 767 / firstname.lastname@example.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots.
Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
tel: +357 99 077 820 / email@example.com
30 June 2009 22:03
Written by Free Gaza Team
For those of you in the U.S., the information below is really important and may be very helpful. What we know now is that the boat is being towed to Ashdod. That is all we know. Greta
Within the past hour the Free Gaza boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, was boarded by the Israeli Navy, and according to Free Gaza’s Tweet, http://twitter.com/freegazaorg, the Israeli military has issued a statement saying they have taken over the boat.
My contact at the U.S. State Department returned my call 40 minutes ago to say that they are in touch with the Israeli government and have been since the boat was surrounded some 6 hours ago.
Overall, our State Department seeks to assure the safety of all on board and would like to see the boat get through as it is carrying humanitarian relief and cement to the people of Gaza, specifically aiding non-governmental organizations.
This is the right time to call your Senators and Representative to ask their senior staffer for foreign policy to place 2 urgent calls on your behalf. Ask them to call the Israeli Embassy and to call the U.S. State Department ~ and to call you back with what they learn.
Your Senators and Representatives, as strong supporters of Israel, are best positioned to urge the Israeli government to assure the safety of the crew (with four Americans on board, including former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Free Gaza Movement chairperson attorney Huwaida Arraf, International Solidarity Movement co-founder and filmmaker Adam Shapiro, and nurse / filmmaker Kathy Sheetz) and allow passage of the boats, crew, and humanitarian relief cargo to Gaza.
They can express concern and counsel restraint. They can make their calls in private, no problem, and their calls are the ones that always get a response. Please note that when Senate and Congressional staffers call the U.S. State Department, it strengthens the State Department’s hand in negotiations with the Israeli government.
Do your best to connect with each senior staffer for foreign policy, but if you cannot get through to that key person just let the receptionist know your concern for the Free Gaza boat. Numbers matter now ~ so please ask your friends to call their Senators and Congresspersons too.
If you need help or coaching for these calls, please give me a call at 650 325 4663 ~ or send email to Contact@RebuildingAlliance.org and we’ll do our best to respond.
In Rebuilding Peace,
The Rebuilding Alliance
Just received in email. I love the headline and the articles are even better. It took me less than 30 minutes to write to Obama and two US Senators for my state. Rep’s are next. It takes even less time to CALL THEM! I cannot due to finances but write, fax, call, email ~ DO what you CAN do to right this horrible injustice to the Palestinians. It’s an inconvenience for those detained but it’s the Palestinians who are doing WITHOUT, as always, due to the oppression of the apartheid regime of Israel.
God bless and PLEASE take action!
But the international community leaders couldn’t care less because most of those who are kidnapped, shot at and hijacked at sea are Palestinian fishermen from Gaza.
“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, the Green Party’s 2008 candidate for President of the United States.
It’s anyone’s guess what will happen to the Humanity’s cargo of medical supplies, cement, olive trees, and children’s toys.
We know that the fourth largest military in the world, a military given weapons by Britain and the US, destroyed 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties and 200 schools.
MAKES ME WONDER JUST WHAT PLANET TONY LIVED ON!
Well I wonder what he would think of a regime which blocks cherries, kiwi fruit and chocolate from reaching the hands of the children in Gaza? Yes, that's how evil this Zionist regime is ~ it can’t even bear the thought of these poor kids receiving a few tasty treats.
Every week, about 10 officers from the Israel Defense Force’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit meet to decide what sort of food the 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip can eat.
I will return to these three shameful soldiers at a later date, but let’s return to today’s events which has, in my view, reconfirmed Israel as a rogue state by launching into international piracy yet again.
PIRACY OF THE PROMISED LAND
The act of aggression on a peace mission was launched in international waters 90 miles off Gaza, without any warning to the captain of the Dignity or the crew. Israel claimed the incident was an accident and that its naval officers had made numerous attempts to communicate with the Dignity. The Israelis ‘accidentally’ rammed the boat no less than three times.
OH POOR POOR ISRAEL! THEY PICK ON US, THE ETERNAL VICTIMS OF HUMANITY! WE JUST WANT TO GET ALONG WITH EVERYONE BUT THEY KEEP HURTING US! OH POOR POOR ISRAEL ~ WE ARE JUST A LITTLE COUNTRY SURROUNDED BY BIG MEAN ARABS!
Exactly what the hell is Israel up to by banning or trying to prevent boats from entering waters not in its territory? This is the Mediterranean. Just when did Israel assume complete authority of the Med?
Delivering aid to the needy is just such a “peaceful purpose.” Deliberately ramming or hijacking mercy ships and endangering its passengers is an act of terrorism and piracy.
For more information and updates, see the Free Gaza Movement web site
including the latest release on the seizure of the relief boat
*Journalist Yvonne Ridley and film-maker Aki Nawaz sailed to Gaza with the FGM on the first mission to break the siege in August 2008. Ridley was given a media award at the annual Muslim News awards. Her website is www.yvonneridley.org