Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Turkey's Erdogan signals intention to visit Gaza after trip to Egypt later this month


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the most popular figure across the Arab world due to his staunch support for Gazans, has said he is planning to visit Gaza after his trip to Egypt later this month.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday ahead of his visit to Turkish Cyprus, Erdoğan said he wants to visit Gaza, but that plans are not definite yet.

"If conditions are right, I will consider a visit to Gaza," Erdoğan said, adding that the Turkish Foreign Ministry is currently working on it and that his plans to visit Gaza will be shaped according to the results of the ministry's preparations, Today's Zaman reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said in a televised interview last Wednesday that Erdoğan is expected to proceed to Egypt after his visit to Turkish Cyprus. But he also said that his visit to Egypt will be in 10 days, or around July 23.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also planned to visit Gaza during his scheduled visit to Israel in 2009, but later changed his mind about the trip to the Jewish state because of Israeli objection to Davutoğlu's desire to also visit Gaza as well as other Palestinian territories. more

Video: Israeli navy pirates removing passengers from the Dignité


The Israeli navy is so proud of its piracy in international waters it even films its activities.

Israel navy boards Dignité and takes control of vessel - no resistance from passengers


IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered the Israel Navy on Tuesday to intercept the French yacht Dignite-Al Karame after it had refused to stop heading toward the Gaza shore.

The Israel Navy took over the vessel minutes after the IDF chief issued the order, and there was no resistance on the part of the passengers.

When the Karame was some 50 miles away from Gaza, the Israel Navy began trailing the yacht and contacted the passengers on board, demanding they state their final destination and disclose if they are carrying any weapons.

A member of the Greek delegation to Gaza answered the questions and promised that they are not carrying any kind of weapons. He said their destination is the Gaza port. more
Al Jazeera English report is here

Dignité 50 miles from coast - ignoring Israeli navy's illegal demand to stop sailing to Gaza


IDF is trying to shape the story this time and has released a video (above) of communication with Dignité crew. Reports say the Dignité is only 50 miles (ordinary not nautical?) from Gaza coast. Dignité has refused to stop according to breaking news ticker at Haaretz.

Palestinian family fined $10,000 and faces demolition of home by Israeli occupiers


From the International Middle East Media Center

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Monday that an Israeli court fined a Palestinian family $10,000 for building its Silwan home without a permit.

Widad Tawil, the owner of the home, has been given until October to get a permit for the house from the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem. In the event they cannot do so she and her eight children will face demolition of their family home.

Palestinians complain that is impossible to obtain permission to build housing from the Israeli authorities. Many face no choice but to build without official permission opening themselves up to the risk of a large fine, demolition as well as the bill for the demolition.

Silwan is a highly contested neighbourhood in East Jerusalem whose Palestinian inhabitants have faced incursion by Israeli settlers and state parks such as the planned Talmudic gardens which will require the displacement of over 1,600 Palestinian inhabitants to complete. source

Israeli navy surrounds Gaza-bound Dignité, all communications have been cut - protest now!


JERUSALEM — At least three Israeli military ships surrounded a French-flagged yacht as it neared Gaza, seeking to breach Israel's blockade on the territory, an organiser told AFP on Tuesday.

"The boat is surrounded by at least three Israeli ships and since 9:06 am (0706 GMT) all the communications have been jammed. We can't get in touch with them by phone or by Internet," Julien Rivoire said by phone from Paris.

The boat set sail for Gaza after a night anchored at sea, despite Israeli warnings that it would intercept the vessel -- the only boat remaining from a flotilla of 10 ships that had planned to breach Israel's blockade this summer.

The Dignite/Al Karama set sail on Saturday from the Greek island of Kastellorizo following a troubled stay in Greece, after Athens imposed a ban on the departure of any ships involved in the flotilla.

On Monday, Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said the Jewish state would prevent any attempt to breach the naval blockade on Gaza.

"If this boat is on its way to Gaza, which is a breach of international maritime law, and tries a provocative act -- yes, we shall intercept it," he told reporters in Jerusalem.

"But I assure you we shall try our best to make those on board very comfortable." more

Blockade-busting Dignité to arrive on Gaza coast around midday GMT Tuesday 19th July


JERUSALEM - PRO-PALESTINEAN activists on board a French yacht neared the coast of Gaza on Tuesday as they headed for the Palestinian territory in a bid to break an Israeli naval blockade on the coastal strip.

The boat set sail for Gaza after a night anchored at sea, despite Israeli warnings that it would intercept the vessel - the only boat remaining from a flotilla of 10 ships that had planned to breach Israel's blockade this summer.

The Dignite/Al Karama set sail on Saturday from the Greek island of Kastellorizo following a troubled stay in Greece, after Athens imposed a ban on the departure of any ships involved in the flotilla.

Reached by phone in Paris, a spokesman for the French vessel told AFP it was now moving slowly towards Gaza. 'The boat, which is moving slowly in a calm sea, should arrive in around five or six hours, which would be around midday, at the Gaza coast,' Julian Rivoire told AFP. more