Thursday, 23 August 2012

New book "Freedom Sailors" provides riveting account of siege-breaking journey to Gaza

Freedom Sailors is a first-hand account of the first successful attempt to break the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip by sailing two boats into Gaza City, a port that had been closed to international ship traffic since Israel initiated the 1967 war.

With contributions from 24 persons who either took part in the sailing or helped organize it, the book takes us from the initial inception of the idea through the drama of organizing the voyage while keeping the details secret from Israel’s prying eyes to the final jubilant welcome by tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza on 23 August 2008.

Freedom Sailors offers an often-riveting narrative and gives important information about the inhumane consequences of Israel’s siege. But this book may ultimately be valued simply for documenting the fact that a group of ordinary people came up with an extraordinary idea that succeeded in calling world attention to the plight of Gaza’s 1.6 million people.

Knowing what we know now, it was also an extremely dangerous idea. Subsequent attempts to break the blockade by sea resulted in boats being rammed and taken into custody by the Israeli Navy, their passengers and crew imprisoned and then deported. And then came the killing on 31 May 2010 of nine Turkish citizens on board the Mavi Marmara, including the point-blank, execution-style slaying of Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old Turkish-American student who apparently committed the grave crime of pointing a video camera at an Israeli commando. more

Buy at Amazon: Freedom Sailors: The Maiden Voyage of the Free Gaza movement and how we succeeded in spite of ourselves.

Report: Israeli police officer witnessed Zion Square ‘lynching’ and chose not to intervene

Israeli press first reported a patrol officer was called to the scene of the lynching in Zion Square as the attackers were screaming 'Death to Arabs' and chasing Palestinian the youths.

Google Translate: He chose not to intervene and left without calling additional forces. "It did not affect him, he chose not to intervene," said the eyewitness.
New evidence interprets the young Arab attack in Zion Square indicate poor conduct of the Israel Police: newspaper "Ma'ariv" post this morning that the focus of police reports of events came about 40 minutes before the violent event. According to an eyewitness at the scene, a patrolman who was called to the scene watched young wild square, but left the place minute by beating young.

Muhammad, one of employee witnesses near the square cats, suggesting that the 100 center called the police and reported the event. A few minutes later a policeman arrived on a motorcycle tour of watching young people chasing Arabs but the officer chose not to intervene.

"The policeman arrived just as the boys began to shout 'Death to Arabs', he was right in the mess, he heard the curses, saw chase Arabs and beat them, but it did not affect him., He decided not to intervene and did not ask to send other teams to place," said witness.

Jerusalem Police sources told the newspaper "Ma'ariv that the place did come Explorer police after receiving the complaint center. According scout scan performed and explained that some of the boys dispersed, and some came to Zion Square.

Israel issues demolition orders to Beit Ummar homes

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces issued demolition orders to two homes in Beit Ummar, Hebron on Wednesday, official news agency Wafa reported.

Israeli civil administration officials, accompanied by soldiers, issued the orders to Younis Zaqeq and Jawad Awad, Wafa quoted popular committee member Muhammad Awad as saying.

Their homes are located near the Karmi Zur settlement. more