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Israeli Occupation Navy Board Gaza Bound Aid Ships, Tow them to Isdood

[ 04/11/2011 - 09:55 PM ]


Israeli occupation navy boats intercepted two Gaza bound aid vessels, the Irish Hurreyah and the Canadian Tahrir ships which were attempting to break a five year long blockade against the Gaza Strip. Occupation officers boarded the ships and towed them to Isdood (Israelis call it Ashdod, but it was part of the Palestinian state, according to the UN 1947 Partition Resolution).

A statement by the Israeli occupation navy said that naval officers boarded the two ships which were on their way to break the maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip and “which is conforms with international law,” according to the statement.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that intercepting the ships constitutes a continuation of Israeli piracy and muscle flexing against anyone who tries to break the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. "The siege on Gaza is a crime against humanity. It is the right of anyone to come to Gaza by land, sea or air. The assault on siege-busting ship is an assault on humanity."

The two ships were carrying medicines and human rights activists from a number of countries. They left the Fatheyya port in south west Turkey on Wednesday afternoon. They were expected to reach the Gaza Strip on Friday.

The organisers “Freedom Waves” said in a statement that there were 27 people on both ships, including journalists and crews and medicines worth 30,000 US dollars.

Amjad al-Shawwa, coordinator of the international campaign to end the siege on Gaza, said that contact with the ships was lost on Friday afternoon while the ships were 35 miles from Gaza, at the time when Israeli naval boats surrounded them.

Israel Interrogates Four Activists Of Solidarity Ships

Saturday November 05, 2011 11:15 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israel sources reported that officials from the Israeli occupation government interrogated four activists who were on board of the Irish and the Canadian ships (Freedom Waves) that were intercepted by the army, on Friday, while on their way to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip.

The sources added that all activists will be deported out of the country at a later stage. 27 activists were on board of the two ships.

The Israeli occupation army reported that the ships were searched but “no weapons or combat materials were found”.

The search was conducted after the Israeli occupation navy towed the two ships to the Ashdod Port.

Israeli sources reported that the army confirmed it will always intercept all ships heading to Gaza “with the intention to break the blockade on the coastal region”.

Despite Israeli claims of easing the siege on Gaza, many urgently needed supplies, especially medications and medical equipment, cannot be found in Gaza.

Israeli Navy Intercepts Aid Ships; Detains Passengers

Saturday November 05, 2011 00:10 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

Two Gaza-bound aid ships were intercepted by the Israeli occupation navy Friday morning and towed to an Israeli port, where the passengers were detained by Israeli occupation security forces.

Dennis Kosseim, a coordinator of the aid ships, told reporters that the Israeli obstruction of the aid mission would not deter the activists, adding, “Our goal is quite clear, it's to bring humanitarian aid and hope to the Palestinians of Gaza”. He promised that aid missions to Gaza would continue, and more boats are planned in the coming months.

As the Israeli navy approached the two ships, communication was suddenly cut off between the passengers and their supporters and media contacts worldwide, including cell phone, satellite phone and radio communication – leading many to speculate that the Israeli military jammed the signals.

The two ships, a Canadian and an Irish ship, carried around 40 passengers and several tons of medical aid to bring to the people of Gaza to attempt to break the Israeli-imposed naval, land and air blockade which has been in place since 2007.

American journalist, Jihan Hafiz, who was on the Canadian ship, was among those detained.

She is a reporter with ‘Democracy Now’ news program in the United States. She had been providing live reports and updates to radio and television audiences in the US until communications were cut off Friday morning.

Democracy Now is a daily TV/Radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 900 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States. Can be found on the internet at

The last attempt to reach Gaza by ship, by an aid flotilla that planned to set sail from Greece in May, was stymied by the Greek government after pressure from US and Israeli officials.

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