Thursday, 6 October 2016

Solidarity with women activists as Israel intercepts boat seeking to break Gaza blockade

 

A boat full of women activists which was headed peacefully for the Gaza Strip was intercepted and commandeered by the Israeli Navy yesterday in international waters.The Women’s Boat to Gaza was making good progress on the Mediterranean and the women on board were excited about meeting the people on the shores of Gaza who were waiting for them. Some Palestinians even spent the night at the beach to greet them. At 9:58am EDT, flotilla organizers lost contact with the boat, Zaytouna-Oliva. The US Embassy confirmed that the boat was intercepted and Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Zaytouna-Oliva was boarded by members of the Israeli navy. The Israelis took control of the boat and rerouted it – under force – to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The activists were transferred to authorities “for further processing,” the Israeli military said in a statement late Wednesday.. It should be noted that it is an illegal act to attack civilian boats in this way..
Women from different parts of the world who care and feel passionately about the freedom of Palestine and Gaza had set sail to Gaza with two ships the Zaytouna and the Amal - meaning "olive" and "hope" - had set sail last week from Barcelona, Spain, en route to the besieged Gaza Strip,in order to raise awareness about and try to break Israels decade-long illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.The activists were transferred to authorities “for further processing,” the Israeli military said in a statement late Wednesday.
The boat dubbed “Women’s Boat to Gaza,” was carrying 13 women including Mairead Maguire, the 1976 Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, Fauziah Hasan, a doctor from Malaysia, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright. The boat is part of the wider Freedom Flotilla Coalition that consists of pro-Palestinian boats that regularly seek to go to Gaza to try to break the blockade.
None has yet managed to get through yet..The flotilla is, at its core, a symbolic attempt to bring international attention to a blockade that has further impoverished and isolated Gaza, while sending a message of solidarity to Palestinians there.The Zaytouna-Oliva was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for their attacks, would claim that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli.
Previous solidarity boats to Gaza have been intercepted and their passengers detained in Israel and deported.Eight Turkish nationals and a US citizen were killed in May 2010 when Israeli forces stormed the Mavi Marmara boat that was part of the Gaza Freedom. The people in Gaza were excited about the boat of women activists making their way to them in an attempt to break the illegal siege and blockade that plagues their everyday lives The people in Gaza were excited about the boat of women activists making their way to them in an attempt to break the illegal siege and blockade that plagues their everyday lives, a group of Palestinians had gathered on the beach in the hopes of welcoming the boat to shore but the vessel was intercepted before it could reach them.Earlier in the day they had heard the terrifying sounds of Israeli bombs near their homes,as Israel bombed several areas

                   
                            Palestinian women waiting on the shore to greet the Women's Boat to Gaza            
                                
The all-women boat also wanted to bring awareness to  the role of Palestinian women in their struggle, as they face the effects of occupation and settler-colonialism, under a illegal blockade.legal blockade. Over 1.5 million most of whom under 20 years of age are struggling to survive in Israeli occupied Gaza. Israel keeps violating the international law. According to the studies Gaza is estimated to become unsuitable for life by 2020. Turning the city into an inhabitable place undeniably is a crime against humanity. Women also carry the bulk of responsibility for the care of traumatized children. According to the United Nations, more than 160,000 children in Gaza are in need of continuous psychological support,United Nations officials have also called for the blockade to be lifted, saying conditions are deteriorating in Gaza.
 Sondos Ferwana, a spokesperson for the activists, told a Turkish news agency that the capture of the boat was “another act of Israeli piracy.”The Women’s Boat to Gaza group released a pre-recorded video statement made in case the boat was intercepted.“If you’re listening to this, then you will know that myself and all the women who sailed on the Women’s Boat to Gaza have been arrested and are in detention in Israel,” Maguire says in the video, which can be viewed above.Maguire adds that Israel’s actions are “totally illegal.”The Women’s Boat to Gaza Twitter account published photos of solidarity protests in Spain as news of the boat’s capture reached activists.


The last message heard  from Mairead Maguire stated: "We are people of the world, we should be allowed to bisit our brothers and sisters in Gaza and not be stopped. We will continue to support the people of Gaza and the people of Palestine until they have human rights and their freedom."Solidarity to all these brave women taken, we must demand that Israel acts immediately to ensure the safety and well being of the crew and passengers on board the Zaytoun-Olive, and must continue to call for the end of the blockade. No country has the right to isolate and collectively punish them against international law. Not only were Israels actions illegal, but they set a terryfying precedent, giving a greenlight for other nations to attack civilian ships in international waters. If in the UK, I would urge you without delay to contact the foreign secretary Boris Johnson, details are here, more contacts at bottom of post.:-

Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary
Phone: +44 20 7219 4682
E-mail: boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk
Twitter: @borisjohnson
Facebook: facebook.com/foreignoffice
Twitter: @foreignoffice


 Palestinian boats go out to meet the vessel but it was intercepted before it could reach shore.


Song for Gaza from Zaytouna-Oliva, Women's Boat For Gaza

"We anchored up and sail out from the shore of Spain
Our boat Zaytouna-Olive is her name
And olive is the symbol of a faraway place
To which we steer our course across the waves

We are thirteen women here to sail with peace in our hand
Towards our sisters in this foreign land
From many different corners of this world we have come
To bring to you the freedom of a song

[Chorus]

We will sail for your freedom
Our sisters in Palestine
We will never be silence
Until you are free
We are guided by the light of the stars at night
And the power of the sea so very bright
As the world is watching us we bring our women voice
With a message that we all should have a choice
Your grandmothers they planted olive trees
Upon the land where you should live in peace
Though trees of thousand years they've been all go away
May daughters plant the seeds to let them stay

[Chorus]
We will sail for your freedom
Our sisters in Palestine
We will never be silence
Until you are free"

Synne Sofie Recksten, Emma Rinqvist, Marama Davidson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMpGJY_LYqQ


For more details about the Womens boat to Gaza and other people to contact, here is a link :-

https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/

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