[Breaking] Freedom Boats to Gaza Intercepted, Sized, Attacked by Israeli Navy
NEWS, 30 Jul 2018
Freedom Flotilla Coalition – TRANSCEND Media Service
“The Freedom Flotilla to Gaza is an inspiring and important story. How much longer will mainstream media suppress these types of stories where world citizen activists challenge Israel’s right to defy international law and universal rights? Why is Israel above the law?”
— R. Kotila, Earth Federation News & Views
Latest news on interception at sea (29 July):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 29 July, 2018
The motor vessel Al Awda (The Return), traveling in international waters towards Palestinian waters, 49 nautical miles from the port in Gaza City, has been contacted by the Israeli Occupation Forces navy and warned. The Israeli navy claims our ship is breaking international law and threatens that they will use “any measures necessary” to stop us. In fact, the only “necessary measures” would be to end the blockade of Gaza and restore freedom of movement for all Palestinians. At last news from on board, Al Awda maintains her course towards Gaza, where the crew and participants hope to arrive this evening around 21:00 local time.
A number of warships have appeared, so an attack, boarding and capture appear to be imminent, and we anticipate that all communications with the vessel will be lost shortly.
Al Awda is sailing under a Norwegian flag, carrying 22 people and a cargo of medical supplies, including #Gauze4Gaza. Passengers and crew on board are from 16 nations, including human rights supporters, journalists and crew, along with €13,000 worth of urgently needed medical supplies. The boat itself, a former fishing vessel from Norway, is a gift to Palestinian fishers in Gaza.
Four boats left Scandinavia in mid-May and have since stopped in 28 ports building support for a ‘Just Future for Palestine’, that demands Israel end its ongoing breaches of international law and the twelve-year blockade of Gaza, thereby enabling the only closed port in the Mediterranean to open and for people to have their right to freedom of movement.
Al Awda is being followed by the Swedish-flagged yacht Freedom, which is also carrying medical supplies along with people from a number of nations. We anticipate that it will reach a similar area where the IOF attacked Al Awda within the next two days. Two smaller sailing boats that travelled from Scandinavia and sailed through the canal system in Netherlands, Belgium and France visiting inland ports, participated in the mission until Palermo.
“The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on the Norwegian Government, the national governments of those aboard Al Awda and the Freedom, other national governments, and relevant international organizations to act immediately.” said Torstein Dahle of Ship to Gaza Norway, part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. “The international community must assume its responsibilities and demand that Israeli authorities ensure the safety of those on board, the speedy delivery of our gifts to the Palestinian people in Gaza, an end to the illegal blockade of Gaza, and to stop impeding our legal right of innocent passage to Gaza to deliver our gift of much-needed medical supplies”.
More information about the ‘Right to a Just Future for Palestine’ flotilla and the FFC:
For US citizens, please call the US Department of State and demand that the State of Israel be held accountable for piracy–and demand that the medical supplies for Gaza on Al Awda be sent from Ashdod harbor to Gaza as provided by international law.
Call/email/tweet for release of US participant Joe Meadors:
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State – Tel: +1 202 647 4000 (ask for Israel & Palestine desk, and American Citizen Services, and/or Operations Center – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: http://state.gov – Twitter: @SecPompeo
US Embassy in Israel – U.S. Embassy Jerusalem – 14 David Flusser – Jerusalem 9378322, Israel – Phone: 02-630-4000 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer) @usembassyjlm
Branch Office Tel Aviv – 71 HaYarkon Street – Tel Aviv 6343229, Israel Phone: 03-519-7575 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)
Follow our campaigns on Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla U.S. Section
Women’s Boat to Gaza U.S. Section
Freedom Flotilla Coalition
Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.
DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel. DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
7 2 9: BOYCOTT FOR JUSTICE!
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Jul 2018.
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