French boat Dignité of the Freedom Flotilla II leaves Greece
The French boat “Dignité/Karama” (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla’s ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.
The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters. It has now left– so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.
Among the delegates on board is Jacqueline Le Corre, member of the French Communist Party, Jean Claude Lefort, former French Member of the European Parliament, as well as representatives of the Canadian, French, Greek and Swedish initiatives within Freedom Flotilla II. Onboard the Dignité are also renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting for Haaretz, and a team from Al-Jazeera TV. (Full list of passengers below).
Kastellorizo, in the far east of the Greek archipelago, is only miles from Turkish mainland. A substantial part of Kastellorizo’s population fled during the Second World War to Gaza, where they stayed for years. The present mayor of the island, Paul Panigiris, was born in Gaza, and feels strongly, as do many other people from Kastellorizo, for a population that once hosted them and is now under siege.
The action of Dignité is not a mini-version of Freedom Flotilla 2, but a first wave that will be followed by others. It is a message to the Israeli government, to the international community and to the besieged people of Gaza: The Free Gaza Movement and the coalition of Freedom Flotilla II are not giving up, until the inhumane and illegitimate blockade of Gaza is lifted.
JERUSALEM — A protest ship trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip has set sail and should reach the Hamas-run territory soon, a pro-Palestinian activist said Sunday.
Nahla Chahal said the ship, the Dignity al-Karama, was expected reach Gaza by Monday unless the Israeli navy stops it. The ship was part of a larger protest flotilla that had hoped to break the blockade several weeks ago but was thwarted by Greece.
Speaking from France, Chahal said the Dignity left a Greek port late Saturday. It is carrying 16 passengers, including activists from France, Sweden and Canada as well as an Israeli newspaper correspondent and reporters from the Al-Jazeera satellite channel. She said the mission was solely to draw attention to the situation in Gaza.
“We are making a political statement, we are not carrying any aid,” Chahal said.
The Israeli military declined comment, but has said it will stop any attempt to break the sea blockade of Gaza. more
Media Activists Needed in Palestine Reporting the voice of Palestinian struggle from the root Call for Aspiring Journalists!
About ISM The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of primarily Palestinian and Israeli activists in August 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international solidarity and an international voice.
You will be based in the West Bank, experienced and interested activists may be placed in Gaza. Apart from gaining reporting and photography experience, you will also be networking with existing media outlets and develop skills during media meetings on reporting the occupation of Palestine. ISM is seeking a minimum 3 month commitment, and will provide accommodation during your stay.
ISM is a non-hierarchical solidarity movement. Consequently, you will not be treated as a classical intern but rather as a fellow voluntary member of the activist group.
Fields of work
- Learn to humanize the voice of the struggle by reporting on events ranging from anti-occupation demonstrations to house raising demolitions. - Establish contacts with local Palestinian and international media - Help refining the ISM media strategy by developing and incorporating own ideas on information spreading techniques
Application documents 1. Please send in any relevant information about yourself and experience or background you may have in reporting and journalism. 2. Express why you are applying for this voluntary internship and what you hope to gain from it. 3. Send an example of your written work and an optional photo sample of your work.
(pic: boats damaged as a result of Israel's campaign against the Gaza fishing industry)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- A boat crewed by solidarity activists came under fire Saturday as it attempted to sail further than three miles off Gaza's coast, breaking a sea blockade.
The Olivia boat's purpose is to try and defend Palestinian fishermen in Gazan waters.
A European woman onboard the boat told Ma'an that when she informed sailors that she was helping fishermen, one of them said, “Even if the whole EU comes here, they will not pass, neither can they defy Israeli decisions. The decisions say each boat that tries to break the sea blockade will be sunk."
On Saturday, the Olivia sailed to bring back remnants of a fishing boat which the Israelis damaged earlier. Three internationals were onboard, and they managed to anchor near Shati refugee camp west of Gaza City.
Head of the Gazan association of fishing and sports Mahfouth Kabariti said the solidarity activists managed to bring back some fishing equipment belonging to the Al-Habil family, whose boat was sunk.
He said two Americans and one Swedish citizen were on board the Olivia.
An Israeli military spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment. more
SOMEWHERE IN THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN – On Saturday evening a Gaza-bound boat left Greek territorial waters. Its 10 participants regard themselves as representatives of the entire abortive flotilla to Gaza, and are determined to exhaust all possibilities in order to reach their destination, or at least carry out the symbolic act of protesting the blockade. They are well aware of the Lilliputian dimensions of their venture, compared with the massive impact organizers had initially planned to have with the 10-odd vessel flotilla.
Dignite-Al Karama, one of two yachts purchased by the French delegation in the second Freedom Flotilla, left a port in Corsica on June 25. Thus, it was spared the fate of eight other boats which were supposed to sail out of Greek ports, but were impounded by Greek authorities.
Last Wednesday Karama left the port of Sitia in Crete, where it had been anchored for a week, awaiting the other boats in vain. Once it was clear that Greece, under strong Israeli pressure, would not allow those boats to sail, its remaining passengers ¬ three French nationals and one Tunisian ¬ were joined by three representatives of other delegations, a Greek, Swede and a Canadian, and by three more French activists who arrived from France. Also on board are three crew members and three journalists from Al Jazeera and Haaretz. more