I posted this on Metal Ireland too.
I have been following the events of this flotilla of humanitarian aid for the last few days. They are attempting to reach Gaza via international waters to deliver much needed aid to the besieged area and attempting to end the 3 year blockade that Israel has ruthlessly imposed on the region. There is an Irish boat among the flotilla that I believe sailed from Cork. My womanfriend knows 2 people on board that ship.
Simple things like cement, paper, building equipment (not a single brick has been allowed into Gaza since the Israelis floored the place in Jan '09) and essential medicines are among the items that are on board the ships.
Israel have vowed to stop this flotilla "at all costs" and last night began bombarding Gaza international airport (which I imagine would be within sight of all the passengers) to induce fear and intimidation. The airport has been inoperative for 10 years as the Israeli Airforce continually launch strikes on it.
The Israeli government have already set up a "camp" in which to hold the campaigners and have them all deported once in custody. and have openly stated they will use force if necessary to stop the flotilla.
Now Cyprus is involved also. Suspected sabotage on 2 of the ships caused hydraulic systems that control steering to fail on BOTH ships. Cyprus have have denied access for the ships to dock for vital repairs. This means they are highly unlikely to complete the journey into Gaza.
This is an email I received last night from the Viva Palestina Group and I urge anyone interested in the safety of their fellow Irish AND British citizens to get in touch with TD's, MLA's, MP's and ensure that this situation is on their top priority list.
[quote:9446a35c0f]Subject: Call For Action As The Flotilla Faces Serious Threats From Israel
“People are very aware that the Israeli authorities and indeed others are playing all sorts of mind games, with threats alternating with so called offers, which would include surrendering the aid into Israeli hands, something which the participants of the flotilla find entirely unacceptable”
Speaking from the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, Kevin Ovenden from Viva Palestina outlined some of the concerns and realities currently been faced by over 750 people on board the 9 ships sailing towards Gaza.
The last of the ships departed from Turkey at midnight last night, and they are all currently in International waters in the Mediterranean Sea. Their journey is faced with incredible danger, given the threats that have been issued by the Israeli Government. They have stated that they will stop this Flotilla at all costs, even by force if necessary. Their safety is in grave danger, and the time has come for the international community to stand up for their safety and well being.
Tomorrow, Saturday, the flotilla should be sailing into Gaza, however, given the threats issued, the likely hood of this happening is looking uncertain at this stage. We are calling on everyone to contact various political leaders to ask them to do everything in their power to ensure the safety of these brave people, and to stand up and add their voice in support of this humanitarian flotilla.
Full details of how they can contact these political figures can be found through following link:
There you will find e mail addresses, and template letters to use. Full instructions are provided, and we ask that you follow these and show your support for everyone involved.
This is a very serious situation, and we are calling on everyone to play their part in helping ensure their safety, and that the aid reaches Gaza without difficulty.
Click on the following link to listen to Kevin’s full appeal:
PROTEST the mindless massacre of humanitarian aid workers by Israeli forces during the night. At least 19 confirmed murdered. Show your outrage, don't bury your head in the sand. BELFAST @5pm City Hall -- DERRY Guildhall @5pm -- GALWAY Eyre Sq @6pm -- DUBLIN Spire @6pm