Wednesday, 30 June 2010

More ships joining convoys to break Gaza siege


In addition to the sea and land convoy anounced by Viva Palestina and the International Committee to Break the Siege, and the initiative from the Lebanon, a small group of Jewish activists in Germany are organising an aid boat too.
A group of a dozen German Jews has set up an organisation called "Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East" and now wants to sail to Gaza in its own small ship...

...On board they will have a cargo of schoolbags, which were donated by schools in Berlin and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, musical instruments, and fishing equipment such as outboard motors and fishing nets. "We only have a small boat, which is why we can only take a small amount of largely symbolic items," explains Katzenstein-Leiterer...

...According to Katzenstein-Leiterer, the blockade is completely illegal and goes against all international conventions. But breaking the blockade is not the only objective of this group of German Jews. Says Katzenstein-Leiterer: "We want to show the Palestinians in the sealed off Gaza Strip that there are Jews that come to them with aid rather than with bombs and guns!" more

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Israel air strike kills PFLP fighter


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced this morning that one of their fighters was killed in an Israeli air strike.
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — A Palestinian fighter was killed and two other people were wounded on Monday in clashes with Israeli forces east of Gaza City, according to Palestinian medics...

...An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces had targeted "a militant who fired an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) at IDF (Israeli military) soldiers" near the border, adding no soldiers were wounded in the incident.

The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a small leftist group, claimed the attack and said one of its fighters had been "martyred."
more

UK's largest trade union votes to boycott apartheid Israel

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis
One of Britain’s largest trade unions passed a motion at its annual conference in Bournemouth last week accusing Israel of lying over the Gaza flotilla incident and has called for a complete boycott of Israel and for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, it was confirmed on Thursday.

The emergency motion was introduced on the third day of the annual conference of UNISON, the largest public sector union with around 1.4 million members. It said Israel was “brazenly lying” over the flotilla incident, as it “attempted to define it as an attempted lynch mob of its troops by passengers on the boats. “This is a further sign that Israel does not respond to words of condemnation, only action will have any effect,” the motion states.

One attendee said that the few Unison members who spoke against the motion were heckled.

UNISON member Lilach Head, a care worker from Devon, spoke against the motion and was heckled. She said the atmosphere was intimidating and the vote was called before more people could speak against it.

“Only three people were able to speak against the motion, there were six others waiting but then the vote was called. There was no hope,” she said.

The union will now support a full boycott of Israel – economic, cultural and sporting; it has joined the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and will suspend ties with the Histadrut. more

More on the Unison conference can be found here

US and European unions' direct action stops Israeli ships


In a first for European labour unions, a week long boycott of ships carrying Israeli goods continues in Sweden. Above US dockers explain why they refused to unload an Israeli ship following the flotilla massacre. These are massive steps forward for the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement.
The Swedish Dock Workers Union (Hamnarbetarförbundet) on Wednesday launched a blockade of Israeli cargo in protest against the deadly raid on the Gaza-bound freedom flotilla last month, union representatives have confirmed.

The blockade, which also applies to Israeli ships, was launched "because of
the assault on the Ship to Gaza (flotilla), that we supported before they took
off ... and the blockade of the Gaza strip, which affects the civilian population," union spokesman Rolf Axelsson said.

The dock workers' protest is set to take place in all unionised Swedish ports, and is scheduled to and ends at midnight on June 29th.

Union chairman Björn A. Borg added the union called for an international investigation into the May 31st raid that killed nine pro-Palestinian activists. more


And the US labour movement is stirring on the issue also:
ILWU Explains Why they’ve refused to unload Israeli ship
The union workers of the ILWU explain their decision to not unload Israeli goods in the Oakland port, citing past decisions to unload the goods of other countries that violate human rights on a massive scale with U.S tax dollars and heeding the call of Palestinian civil society which has called on the world to apply boycott divestment and sanctions akin to the actions that brought down apartheid south Africa until Israel ends it’s brutal military occupation of the Palestinian people, ends the siege on gaza, and grants equal rights and respects the human rights of all people living under Israeli jurisdiction. more

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Step to beautify the siege of Gaza not end it


So Israel says it is easing the siege and the war criminal Tony Blair is happy to play up and go along with the charade. The Kerem crossing saw 140 trucks pass through but the main commercial crossing at Karni has not been opened. The goods that Israel has allowed in now includes ketchup, mayonnaise, sewing needles and toys - which all now presumably have lost their 'war materiel' designation. According to a report at the Palestinian Telegraph Palestinians.

Basic building materials such as cement and steel are still not being allowed in by Israel which means no meaningful reconstruction can take place.

Undoubtedly, however, it is the bravery and commitment of all those on the Freedom Flotilla that has really forced Israel's hand, but as usual their so-called concessions are in fact no such thing.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

More artists join boycott movement against Israel


The Pixies have joined a lengthening line of international artists that are refusing to work (tour) in Israel. They follow in the recent footsteps Elvis Costello and Gil Scott-Heron.

Israel may 'ease' Gaza siege in return for watered down flotilla inquiry

What with both Turkey and Iran threatening to send warships and aid ships, respectively, to Gaza, Israel is starting to feel the pressure. According to AP, citing a Daily Telegraph report indicating that Israel is willing to trade a watered down international inquiry for an easing of the Gaza blockade, but exactly what Israel means by 'easing' is anyone's guess.
Israel is set to accept a plan under which it would ease its Gaza blockade in return for the international community agreeing a limited probe into a deadly flotilla raid, it was reported Wednesday.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Britain last week circulated a document outlining proposals to ease the blockade. It quoted an unnamed Western source close to the talks with Israel saying: "A quid pro quo deal is in the offing". more

Monday, 7 June 2010

IDF kills four Palestinian fighters, launches more airstrikes


The Israeli killing spree continues. This time four members of the 'marine unit' of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fatah aligned) have been killed while on a training mission. The killings were followed by air strikes in Jabaliya and near Erez, according to Maan news agency. The news follows the deaths of three Palestinians last week following an IDF incursion.

Israel to declare war on Turkey if Erdogan joins next flotilla to Gaza


As if the outlaw nature of the Israeli state was not already clear, just to make sure we didn't miss anything Israel has made it known, according to Haaretz, that any attempt by the Turkish prime minister to join the next flotilla to Gaza,with a Turkish navy escort, would be treated as an act of war. But what right has Israel to prevent anyone from going to Gaza? Of course, none whatsoever. Israel pays no respect to Gaza's territorial waters - it shoots Gaza's fishermen at will and is attempting to lay claim to the rich deposits of natural gas under the sea.
According to a Lebanese report on Saturday, Erdogan is considering traveling to Gaza aboard a Turkish navy vessel accompanying a new attempt by protest boats to break Israel's maritime blockade.

On Monday a senior IDF commander said Israel would view an attempt by Erdogan to sail to Gaza as an act of war.

"If he comes here with Turkish warships there can be no doubt that it would amount to a declaration of war," Major-General (Res.) Uzi Dayan told Army Radio.

"We need to draw a clear line and say that whoever crosses it will not be boarded but sunk."

US citizen killed in IDF flotilla attack ignored by US government


Israel kills one of its citizens - 19-year-old Furkan Doğan - and the US, still the most powerful country on Earth, does nothing about it. At least they are concerned, as they have done nothing about the murder of Rachel Corrie in the same way that the UK government has done nothing about the shooting dead of student photographer Tom Hurndall by the IDF. The West has given the IDF a license to kill. Israel is going to hold a 'commission of inquiry' into its killings with a foreigner allowed to attend - that's OK then, says the US state department.
A 19-year-old American slain during an Israeli raid of the Mavi Marmara, a vessel transporting humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip, trusted that his US citizenship would provide a degree of protection, his father has said, in remarks that underscore the lack of Israeli regard for even its greatest ally...

...Indicating that the family expected the US administration to launch an investigation, Doğan said: “The US has the right to start an investigation into any incident that concerns a US citizen who is abroad. Why hasn’t an investigation been launched for our son? Why isn’t anyone following the case?” Explaining that his son had depended on his US citizenship when embarking on the journey, Doğan said: “He left with confidence, saying ‘I am an American, they wouldn’t do anything to me.’ He was thinking, ‘I’ll go with this passport, and I will be able to help.’ He never thought he would come across such a thing, because his purpose was solely to provide humanitarian aid.” İstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

Galloway announces new land and sea convoys to set course for Gaza

From Viva Palestina
Galloway announces new land and sea convoys to break the siege of Gaza

Speaking at a demonstration in London on 5th June which organisers estimated to be more than 20,000 strong, George Galloway announced  new land and sea convoys to break the siege of Gaza.

"After extensive discussion in Istanbul," said Galloway, "I can announce that a land convoy will leave Britain shortly after the end of Ramadan in September this year and travel through Europe, down through Turkey and Syria into Jordan. We will ask the Egyptian government then to ensure passage from the port of Aqaba to Rafah and into Gaza.

"At exactly the same time a flotilla of boats will be leaving to tour the countries of the Mediterranean before heading for Gaza.

"These combined sea and land convoys will be co-coordinated by Viva Palestina with other organisations in Britain and with our friends throughout the Middle East and in Turkey."

Remember our fallen comrades

Ibrahim Bilgen
Ali HaydarBengi
Cevdet Kiliçlar
Çetin Topçuoglu
Necdet Yildirim
Fahri Yaldiz
Cengiz Songür
Cengiz Akyüz
Furkan Dogan

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Israel to award medal to soldier who killed six on flotilla

The IDF has a reputation for discipline. As the Israelis like to say, it is the most moral army in the world. That reputation is surely now in tatters. You would have thought the last Gaza war would have put paid to that idea - what with the revolting t-shirts returning IDF soldiers produced celebrating their barbarism.

This is the same 'moral' and 'disciplined' army that claimed it was defending itself when it killed at least nine people on the Freedom Flotilla. But as the Guardian has reported the number of bullets found in people's heads attests to the fact that many were shot at close quarters in something approaching execution style. Now according to the Telegraph Israel wants to award a medal to the lead murderer who was apparently responsible for six of the deaths.

IDF boards MV Rachel Corrie in international waters

From witnessgaza.comTwitter feed:
about 29 minutes ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_2Zd9e9dNE | http://ht.ly/1Urkl Israel's PR campaign as they refuse to call ship RACHEL CORRIE
about 30 minutes ago

Were guns involved in this alleged granting of permission to board?
about 41 minutes ago

Do they not understand that it's violent to board the ship in international waters and force it into Ashdod.
about 42 minutes ago

IDF boarded the Rachel Corrie with permission of the crew, did so by sea, no helicopters no reports of violence.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Gaza flotilla witness: "I saw people shot"

Eyewitness Kevin Ovenden from the Freedom Flotilla: 'I saw people shot'

Kevin Ovenden, a representative of Viva Palestina, was on the main ship of the Freedom Flotilla when Israeli soldiers descended onto the deck – he spoke from Turkey to Siân Ruddick

“We knew the Israelis were going to attack, or intercept us in some way. At 11pm we had the first contact. A visual warning was that two Israeli warships were approaching us, followed by a third.

“We were 90 miles north of the Israeli coast, and 22 miles away from the buffer zone that Israel has set from its shores.

"We had tight organisation procedures in place and people were prepared.

"The captain and the most experienced activists on board said that people should rest. Many people did while others stayed on the look out.

"At 4.25am the attack began. The warship had neared and commandoes were lowering themselves onto the deck from helicopters. There were two motorised dinghies, carrying 14-20 commandoes, on either side of the boat.

"It was clear they were armed – it was the equivalent to an SAS raid. They were all wearing paramilitary style balaclavas.

"The first soldiers landed on the roof of the ship, people responded instinctively with their bare hands and things you would find on a ship – pieces of wood and piping and so on. No sharp objects were used.

Two soldiers were overpowered and pushed below deck. They were disarmed to prevent further injury or death.

"The attack opened with percussion grenades.

"These don’t just make a noise but send shockwaves of heavy vibration. They were trying to create terror and panic.

"They also used rubber coated bullets in the earlier stage. But very quickly they turned to live rounds and we were taking heavy casualties.

"Niki Enchmarch was on the top deck standing next to a Turkish man who was holding a camera. An Israeli soldier shot him in the middle of the forehead. It blew off the back of his skull and he died.

"I was on the second deck. A man standing a metre in front of me was shot in the leg, the man to the right of me in the abdomen. There was pandemonium and terror.

"The youngest person on the ship was not yet a year old, the eldest 88. The crew included German and Egyptian parliamentarians, NGO workers and representatives from various charities. This is who Israel was targeting.

"While they opened fire we struggled in our defence and to limit the massacre.

"They attacked with lethal force to terrorise the movement for the end of the siege of Gaza and the wider movement of solidarity with Palestine. They used violence to instill terror for political ends. This is the definition of terrorism.

"But they failed. The people aboard, their families and the people who donated to the €20 million aid, are not afraid – neither are those in the wider movement.

"This must become a turning point in the lifting of the siege and an end to the policies pursued by governments in relation to Israel.

"Israel has completely isolated itself. Around the world we must redouble our efforts and commit to action to end the siege. This is a political opportunity in which big advances can be made.

"The statements of condemnation by David Cameron and William Hague betray how isolated Israel is. These are leaders of a pro-Israeli party, and yet these statements have been more damning than anything Gordon Brown said when Israel was bombing Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

"Governments claim to recognize the siege is unsustainable. We have to force the UN, the EU and all the other governments to turn their words of condemnation into action."

From Socialist Worker

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

UN rights council votes for fact-finding mission over flotilla attack

UN human rights council votes to set up an independent investigation into Israel's Gaza attack. This is the same body that set up the Goldstone inquiry into the conduct of Israel's 2008/9 war against the people of Gaza.
A United Nations body has frustrated Israeli and US efforts to prevent an international probe into the killing of nine pro-Palestinian protesters by voting to set up a fact-finding mission into Monday’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy.

The Geneva based UN Human Rights Council backed by 32 votes to three a resolution on Wednesday that condemned “in the strongest terms the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces against the humanitarian flotilla of ships” that was trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip this week.

The US, the Netherlands and Italy voted against the motion, which was sponsored by Pakistan, Sudan  and the Palestinians while nine countries, including France, Belgium, Japan, the UK and South Korea abstained.

Anti-Arab racism on show as court detains Palestinian Israelis who took part in flotilla

Israel has imprisoned four prominent Palestinian Israeli citizens who were on the flotilla.
The court’s decision to detain the Arab political leaders who took part in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla is discriminatory and constitutes selective prosecution. They are not being detained because of their Israeli citizenship but because they are Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. Instead, the Israeli military, which attacked the ship and its passengers, should be investigated for violations of international law.”

(Haifa, Israel) Last night, 1 June 2010, Judge Dina Cohen of the Magistrates’ Court in Ashkelon, after a nine-hour hearing before a packed courtroom, decided to extend the detention of Arab political leaders — Mr. Muhammed Zeidan, the Chairman of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel; Sheikh Raed Salah, the Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel (northern branch); and Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabes, the Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel (southern branch) — and Ms. Lubna Masarwa of the Free Gaza Movement and Al Quds University for one week, until 8 June 2010. more at freegaza.org

Video: Lowkey raps against Israel's flotilla massacre at London protest

Turkish activist imprisoned again before flight out of Israel

Turkish activist detained at Ben Gurion airport after he 'become disorderly' in front of foreign reporters. Now in a holding cell until flight out of the apartheid state.
Two detainees from the Marmara, the flotilla vessel on which the lethal IDF raid took place, became disorderly at Ben Gurion International Airport before foreign reporters. They were cuffed and placed in a holding cell until their repatriation flight. From Ynet

Lauren Booth challenges Israel's flotilla lie machine


Lauren Booth, who sailed on an aid mission to Gaza in 2008 writes in the Guardian on why ordinary tried to offer solidarity to the people of Gaza. And why those that raised sticks or whatever, had a right to defend themselves.
Our mission was simply to show the population of Gaza that normal people cared about their plight; that we saw their hunger, their fear, their imprisonment, their struggle; and that we – everyday folk with good hearts – would do what we could to bring their plight to the eyes of the world.

Then, as now, our intention was never to go anywhere near Israel's shores, nor its waters, nor its military. Then, as now, the cargo on our ships was rigorously checked by European port authorities and stamped as free from any weapons whatsoever. We believed, back in those innocent days, that this would not furnish Israel with even the most vapid excuse to board or attack us on the pretext that we were a security threat. Then, they did not. This week, they did.

Let me ask you one final question that's been troubling me, as sympathy for those apparently fragile Israeli commandos continues to pour in. If you were on a boat in the Mediterranean and hundreds of the world's most notoriously violent soldiers started falling from the sky, wouldn't you defend yourself? The brave human beings on the Mavi Marmara were acting in self-defence. And because of this many died. Something of the hopeful child in me died with them.

How Israel breaks international maritime law - and gets away with it

Yvonne Ridley exposes the maritime law breaking behind Israel's massacre
By Yvonne Ridley

June 01, 2010 Information Clearing House -- I wonder how many of you remember the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship the Achille Lauro way back in October 1985?

Four members of the Palestine Liberation Front took control of the liner off Egypt as she was sailing from Alexandria to Port Said.

It was a bungled operation in which the hijackers killed disabled Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer and then threw his body overboard.

The incident created headlines around the world and polarized people over the Palestinian cause.

It also prompted the law makers to create new legislation making it an international crime for anyone to take a ship by force.

And this is the reason for the brief history lesson - under article 3 of the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation of 1988, it is an international crime for any person to seize or exercise control over a ship by force, and also a crime to injure or kill any person in the process.

The treaty necessarily adopts a strict approach. One cannot attack a ship and then claim self-defence if the people on board resist the unlawful use of violence.

In other words, according to international law, the actions of the Israeli military were beyond the law and those involved should be treated no differently than, say, the Somali pirates who are also in the habit of boarding ships by force.

Any rights to self defence in such dramatic circumstances rests purely with the passengers and crew on board. Under international maritime law you are legally entitled to resist unlawful capture, abduction and detention. more

Turkey to provide naval escorts for flotilla missions as MV Rachel Corrie nears


According to CNN's Indian affiliate, IBN, Turkey has indicated that it may provide naval escorts for future Gaza aid ships. MV Rachel Corrie is about four days away from Gaza's territorial waters. IBN provides no Turkish government or military sources for the report. Also, Hamas is calling for the Rafah crossing to be kept open permanently by Egypt. If Egypt defies the US and Israel on this it could be the beginning of the end to the siege. However, Egypt has opened, and then closed, the crossing on many previous occassions. In another development, Nicaragua is suspending diplomatic relations with Israel. All Palestinian Israelis on the flotilla are still being held and may face serious charges.
Ankara warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences. more
As usual Robert Fisk writes powerfully in the Independent condemning cowardly western leaders' failure to save lives.
But it is a fact that it is ordinary people, activists, call them what you will, who now take decisions to change events. Our politicians are too spineless, too cowardly, to take decisions to save lives. Why is this? Why didn't we hear courageous words from Messrs Cameron and Clegg yesterday?

For it is a fact, is it not, that had Europeans (and yes, the Turks are Europeans, are they not?) been gunned down by any other Middle Eastern army (which the Israeli army is, is it not?) there would have been waves of outrage.

And what does this say about Israel? Isn't Turkey a close ally of Israel? Is this what the Turks can expect? Now Israel's only ally in the Muslim world is saying this is a massacre – and Israel doesn't seem to care.

124 Freedom Flotilla activists deported to Jordan

The Guardian reports activists from Muslim countries arriving in Jordan. Israel's laughable attempts to try to set the media agenda has been swallowed by the usual suspects but not by world public opinion, and most governments. The release of activists will now accelerate the unraveling of Israel's clumsy lies. How many people had the marine commandos killed and injured before individual activists' outrage and fury turned to futile self-defence?
A group of 124 pro-Palestinian activists from 12 Muslim nations crossed the border in five Jordanian buses. Another 200 activists have been transferred from a holding centre to Israel's airport near Tel Aviv, a prison service spokesman said. The remaining activists will be released throughout the day, the spokesman said.

Israel releasing flotilla activists after world pressure mounts

Under mounting international pressure Israel is forced to release today the 680 they are holding. Yesterday Israel's envoy to the UN Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, accused the humanitarian activists of being 'linked to terrorists' in a desperate attempt to justify the murders.
Israel has begun deporting the first batch of foreign activists seized aboard a six-ship humanitarian aid flotilla seized in an Israel Navy raid en route to the Gaza Strip, the Foreign Ministry said early Wednesday, indicating that the rest of the activists will be escorted out of the country throughout the day.

The decision to deport the hundreds of foreign activists was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided late Tuesday, in the face of mounting world criticism of Monday's assault. more

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

2,000 Israelis protest against Gaza Freedom Flotilla massacre

Tel Aviv - Ma'an - Some 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside Israel's Ministry of Defense late Monday to protest the military's violent raid on an aid flotilla that attempted to break the country's years-long siege on the Gaza Strip.

Approximately 100 Tel Aviv and border police officers were present and one left-wing activist, Matan Cohen, was arrested. A few dozen right-wing Israelis staged a counter-protest, but police generally kept them from interfering with the leftists' demonstration.

Air strike kills 3 near Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza

Three people have been killed in Israeli air strikes today - don't expect this to be reported very widely in western media that doesn't seem to know a massacre when it sees one. Meanwhile Egypt has reopened the Rafah crossing, presumably deciding that it's alliance with Israel and this juncture is not particularly flattering.
Gaza - Ma'an - Medics in the Gaza Strip confirmed three dead following an Israeli air strike on the northern Strip near the town of Beit Lahiya on Tuesday afternoon.

An Israeli military source said planes were aiming for a "clear target" in the area, and pilots noted "secondary explosions" following the bombing. more

Returning flotilla activists say ship turned into lake of blood by IDF beatings

Still no news on UK activists beyond Ma'an news agency reporting 12 injured earlier today on their ticker but with no link. Middle East News blog has a report on one Briton that was injured but no name is given.
BERLIN — Pro-Palestinian activists returning to Europe said Israeli commandos used stun guns on passengers and beat them during the deadly raid on an aid flotilla that was trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. One woman said her aid ship “turned into a lake of blood.”

Five Germans, six Greeks and several others — among them a Turkish woman and her 1-year-old baby — were released Tuesday, but Israel barred access to hundreds of other activists seized during the raid Monday that killed at least nine people and wounded dozens.

Israel sent commandos onto six ships carrying nearly 700 activists, and there have been conflicting accounts of what happened during the assault. Most of those killed were aboard the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara.

Norman Paech, a former member of Germany’s Left Party who was aboard the Marmara, said the ship was surrounded by small Israeli assault boats about 4:30 a.m. Monday morning.

“Moments later, we heard detonations and then soldiers from helicopters above us dropped down on board,” Paech said. “The soldiers were all masked, carrying big guns and were extremely brutal.”

The Israeli government says its soldiers were defending themselves, and has released video showing soldiers in riot gear being struck by activists with sticks — and one soldier appears to have been shoved into the water. Israel says the activists were armed with metal rods, knives, slingshots and two pistols snatched from the troops.

When asked about the Israeli video, Paech said he only saw three activists resisting.

“They had no knives, no axes, only sticks that they used to defend themselves,” Paech said at a news conference in Berlin at the Reichstag, where the lower house of parliament meets, after he and four other Germans returned Tuesday from Tel Aviv. more

Rachel Corrie ship on course for Gaza

The MV Rachel Corrie Photo: Freegazaorg


Rachel Corrie ship still sailing to Gaza - left Malta about an hour ago. Corrie ship (1,200 ton cargo), with 15 activists including Mairead Maguire & Denis Halliday, set off from Malta to Gaza.

Second UK march to protest flotilla killings - 5 June

GAZA UPDATE: London Protest Tuesday 1 June: Israeli Embassy, High St Kensington 5.30pm

Saturday 5 June • Gaza Flotilla March • End the Siege of Gaza: Freedom for Palestine

Assemble Downing Street • London • 1.30pm • March to the Israeli Embassy
Called by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative, CND & Viva Palestina

Egypt's Gaza flotilla massacre protests turn fire on US-backed dictator Mubarak



Nyahahahah.. the cowards… So, during the evening Palestine protest in Ramses, whenever the Socialists chanted “down with Mubarak,” followed by young MBs, you can see in the video MB organizers waving “No” trying to suppress the chants and change them… Some of their members might have chanted in the morning “Down with Mubarak,” but the group’s main leadership remains timid, coward, and compromising till the end vis a vis the regime…

From 3Arabawy

List of 28 UK nationals on assaulted Gaza convoy ship Mavi Marmara

Muslim News releases list of passengers on the Mavi Marmara
List of British citizens on Mavi Marmara where the Israeli raid took place and 19 of the passengers killed: Laura Macdonald Stuart, Ebrahim Musaji, Jamal Sayed, PARVEEN YAQUB, Baboo ADEM Zanghar, Ahsan Shamruk, Mustafa Cengiz Ahmet, Tauqir Sharif, BOUDJEMA BOUNOUA,
Mohammad BOUNOUA, Sakir Yildirim, Kenneth O’Keefe, Ali El-Awaisi, Mohammed Bhaiyat, Lort Phillips Alexandra Mary, Sarah Nancy Colborne, Ismail Adam Patel, Nader Daher, Mahi Mohammed Abid,
Nur-E-Azom Choudhury, Ovenden Kevin, Peter Venner, Clifford Gardner Hanley, Muzzammil Layth Chogley, Jamaluddin Mohammad Farid Elshayyal, Hassan Al Banna Ghani, Lazrag Salah, Ali Altan,

US activist loses eye in IDF asssault on peaceful West Bank demo


And on the West Bank in the ongoing non-violent struggle that is routinely met with lethal force, another US activist has been seriously injured, losing an eye after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister, and still the US does nothing... Rachel Corrie (dead), Tristan Anderson (brain injuries) and Emily Henochowicz(lost and eye).
31 May 2010: An American solidarity activist was shot in the face with a tear gas canister during a demonstration in Qalandiya, today. Emily Henochowicz is currently in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem undergoing surgery to remove her left eye, following the demonstration that was held in protest to Israel’s murder of at least 10 civilians aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters this morning.

21-year old Emily Henochowicz was hit in the face with a tear gas projectile fired directly at her by an Israeli soldier during the demonstration at Qalandiya checkpoint today. Israeli occupation forces fired volleys of tear gas at unarmed Palestinian and international protesters, causing mass panic amongst the demonstrators and those queuing at the largest checkpoint separating the West Bank and Israel.

Crisis in Israel as attack on Gaza convoy heightens isolation, embarasses allies

From Haaretz
Endless questions are being asked. What happened to Israel's vaunted creativity? Why was the worst of all possible options chosen? Where was the army chief of staff? Where were the intelligence services? Why did we walk into this trap, which we managed to avoid in all the years of the second intifada, with our eyes open? Why didn't we see that instead of tightening the siege on Gaza, we were about to tighten the siege on ourselves?

Perhaps the most troubling question in the wake of this fiasco on the high sea is this: Who is navigating our ship of state, and toward what catastrophe are the captains of this ship of fools steering us?

IDF incursion sees two Palestinian fighters killed near border

Two killed after Israel claims they had 'identified infiltrators' on the Gaza border. In fact it was Israel that made the incursion, and as usual, did the killing. Overnight, the Fatah aligned al-Aqsa brigades fired a rocket that landed harmlessly in the Negev desert.
Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli forces entered Gaza east of Khan Younis and exchanged fire with fighters near the border, with two reported dead according to Israeli media.

Witnesses said Israeli forces shelled the area, hitting agricultural lands in the area of the sealed Kissufim crossing, and entered into Gaza proximately 100 meters.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers "identified two infiltrators" near the border, and said she could not comment on how the two were attempting to enter Israel. more

Remaining two flotilla boats head for Gaza - UN condemns Israel



freegazaorg on twitter
Israel has refused our lawyers contact with passengers. No contact with any of them since 3:30 am yesterday. None. Zero. Zip. #Flotilla

"Alleged" Israeli military video of passengers attacking has no time stamp. Wonder why? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAMFnu8ZBwk
Israeli spin. Video showing weapons on board to be sling shots and marbles. Injured are more likely the passengers since no faces are seen
UN Security council condemns the attack, which is nice but always ineffectual. It's also calling for 'an impartial investigation'. US president Obama declines to condemn the massacre. No sanctions yet for piracy and murder on the high seas. More importantly the response around the world to the latest outrage has been angry and militant and is continuing to grow.

The remaining two ships of the flotilla are continuing on to Gaza. The video should help to remind the western powers that they have an obligation to prevent piracy, as they do attempt to do in the international waters off Somalia.



There are now reports of 12 UK injured. One activist has been detained in Tel Aviv. There has still been no release of a proper casualty list by the Israelis . See report at Ma'an news

And on the West Bank in the ongoing non-violent struggle that is routinely met with lethal force, another US activist has been seriously injured, losing an eye after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister, and still the US does nothing... Rachel Corrie (dead), Tristan Anderson (brain injuries) and Emily Henochowicz(lost and eye).
31 May 2010: An American solidarity activist was shot in the face with a tear gas canister during a demonstration in Qalandiya, today. Emily Henochowicz is currently in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem undergoing surgery to remove her left eye, following the demonstration that was held in protest to Israel’s murder of at least 10 civilians aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters this morning.

21-year old Emily Henochowicz was hit in the face with a tear gas projectile fired directly at her by an Israeli soldier during the demonstration at Qalandiya checkpoint today. Israeli occupation forces fired volleys of tear gas at unarmed Palestinian and international protesters, causing mass panic amongst the demonstrators and those queuing at the largest checkpoint separating the West Bank and Israel.