Wednesday, 15 June 2011

French flotilla ship prevented from docking in Marseille after pressure in parliament and on insurers

Ynet is reporting that Zionists have apparently succeeded in stopping the docking in Marseille of the French flotilla boat and organisers are now telling prospective participants to travel on ships from Greece or Turkey.
One of the ships slated to participate in the flotilla to Gaza later this month will not set sail, Ynet has learned, less than a day after the Turkish IHH organization announced it was reconsidering its participation in the flotilla as well.

The ship was to set sail from the port of Marseille, but a lengthy battle by the French Jewish community has apparently succeeded in preventing it.

Organizers of the flotilla issued a statement thanking participants Wednesday and urging them to seek other transportation, such as on ships departing from Greece and Turkey.

The French ship – one of 15 participating in the flotilla – was intended to carry a few dozen activists. Organizers bought the vessel for €530,000.

Ynet learned Wednesday that the ship was being prevented from docking in France thanks to pressure applied by parliament members and organizations on insurance local companies and authorities. The vessel is currently anchored in waters outside of Marseille, where it has been for the past four days. more

Video: Israeli soldiers throw stun grenades at Palestinian children

From B'Tselem

Residents of a-Nabi Saleh, a village in the West Bank, regularly demonstrate against their dispossession from privately- owned land and a local spring by settlers from nearby Halamish. The footage shows Israeli soldiers using stun grenades, which can cause injury, to scare away children although they pose no threat to the soldiers. B'Tselem stresses that soldiers should act according to military orders and respond maturely and responsibly to childish teasing without resorting to violence.

בכפר א-נבי סאלח מתקיימות מידי שבוע הפגנות במחאה על השתלטות ההתנחלות הסמוכה חלמיש על שטחים שבבעלות תושבים מהכפר ומעיין שהיה בשימושו. בתמונות המצורפות ניתן לראות כיצד עושים חיילי צה"ל הנוכחים במקום שימוש ברימוני הלם, שהינם אמצעי לפיזור הפגנות היכול לגרום לפגיעות בגוף, לצורך התמודדות עם ילדים המתגרים בהם אשר כלל אינם מהווים סכנה עבור החיילים. בצלם דורש כי החיילים ינהגו בהתאם לפקודות ויגיבו בבגרות ובאחריות למעשי התגרות ילדותיים שכאלה ללא היגררות לאלימות.

Video: Freedom Flotilla 2 - message in a bottle

Two Sinn Fein councillors from Waterford Ireland set to join Freedom Flotilla 2

From Waterford Today
Two Waterford Sinn Fein public representatives are joining an international flotilla at the end of this month bound for the strife torn region of Gaza in the Middle East.

John Hearne, Larchville co-opted onto Waterford City Council on Monday night to replace newly elected Senator David Cullinane, and Pat Fitzgerald, Leperstown, Dunmore East, a member of Waterford County Council are both experienced seafarers and will be part of the crew on Freedom Flotilla II Stay Human on the ship Saoirse, and comprising of 11 ships on a peaceful humanitarian mission to Gaza with up to 1200 citizens from around the world. There will be 50 survivors of the Holocaust on one of the ships, which will include journalists. Both Sinn Fein activists travelled to Dublin last weekend where they were briefed on the journey. Both Councillors thanked the Waterford Council of Trade Unions for financial sponsorship. more

IHH signals possible cancellation of Mavi Marmara aid mission following government pressure

A slightly confusing report from Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper. If true, it sounds like Erdogan was playing a cynical pre-election game to increase his vote only to ditch the Palestinian cause after a bit of pressure from the US and the votes were in.
A Turkish civil-society group appears to be backing away from its previous resolve to send a new aid flotilla to Gaza, saying Tuesday that it may cancel its plans depending on developments, especially in Syria.

“We are reconsidering our plans. We cannot close our eyes to the developments on our doorstep,” Hüseyin Oruç, a board member of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or İHH, and the spokesman for the new flotilla, told the Hürriyet Daily News. The group had previously demonstrated a firm insistence on sending the Mavi Marmara, the vessel on which nine people were killed last year in an Israeli raid on an earlier flotilla, back to Gaza in late June.

“Our goal is not to set sail to Gaza. We think we can serve the purpose by sending a ship or canceling it,” Oruç said Tuesday. “We’ll make our decision by the end of this week,” the spokesman added. more

Israel navy conducing major exercise to prepare for attack on Freedom Flotilla 2

The Israel Navy will hold a large scale exercise Wednesday as it prepares to stop a flotilla of some 15 ships planning to break the Israel-imposed sea blockade over the Gaza Strip in the coming weeks.

The exercise will involve Navy commandos from Flotilla 13 - better known as the Shayetet - as well as other Navy units and special forces from throughout the defense establishment, who were being included in the operation as part of lessons from the botched Navy raid on the Mavi Marmara Turkish passenger ship last may.

The Israeli Navy is under orders from the government to enforce the Israeli sea blockade over Gaza which officials have said is crucial for preventing the flow of arms to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. more

Videos: How Israeli police deal with non-violent protests and arrest 11-year-old child

Story posted on Mondweiss by Adam Horowitz. Video is from Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem - Watch this video from Nabi Saleh:

You might recognize the woman in the video. She is the same mother who fought as her 11-year old child was abducted by the Israeli military (video below). This is yet another tactic Israel has used to try to break the back of the nonviolent protests in the West Bank.

I was recently in Nabi Saleh during the delegation I co-led with Anna Baltzer. I met the brave people of Nabi Saleh who face this level of abuse week in and week out for protesting the theft of their land. As I sat with the families missing loved ones in Israeli prisons and they showed these videos, I watched them not only as a journalist and activist, but also the father of young children. I was horrified and couldn't keep from crying.

As I listened to the stories in Nabi Saleh I marveled at the protesters courage, persistence and discipline at maintaining nonviolent protest in the face of such barbarity. I doubt I would be able to make the same choice.

Inside the Military Repression of Nabi Saleh: Arrest of Children from Joseph Dana on Vimeo.

The video above is meant to be Vimeo's new mobile version that works on iPhone and iPad but you may find you need to view on a desktop machine by sharing the link.