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Reports that Free Gaza boat 'Spirit of Humanity' has been boarded by the Israeli Navy.

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday June 30, 2009 14:06author by Kev - IPSC (pers cap) Report this post to the editors

[From the Free Gaza Movement]

Dear Friends,

We have unconfirmed reports from al-Jazeera and via text message that Israeli Naval Forces have stopped and boarded the Spirit of Humanity on its way to Gaza. We're not sure if our folks are being arrested yet or not.

Irish Citizens Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Nobel Laureate) and Derek Graham (First Mate, FGM, IPSC) are on board, as is former US Congressperson Cynthia McKinney.

More to follow...

CALL & FAX the Israeli Navy at:
tel: +972 3737 7777 or +972 3737 6242
fax: +972 3737 6123 or +972 3737 7175

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148


For more info, in Ireland, contact Niamh - Irish Free Gaza Coordinator - - 091 472279 (landline) 085 7747257 (mob)

Related Link:
author by Kev - IPSC (pers cap)publication date Tue Jun 30, 2009 14:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors


For more information contact:
Greta Berlin (English)
tel: +357 99 081 767 /

Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
tel: +357 99 077 820 /

[23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] - Today Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers). The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate. “President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel’s December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.

“The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of "Cast Lead”. Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone" said fellow passenger Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland.

Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this voyage, stated that: “No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters.”

Arraf continued, “Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release.”

author by Mark Chapman - Siege Busterspublication date Tue Jun 30, 2009 20:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

more here...

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author by David L - IPSCpublication date Tue Jun 30, 2009 21:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

**Emergency Protest***

Reports have just reached us that the Free Gaza boat 'Spirit of Humanity' has been boarded by the Israeli Navy, that all passengers and crew have been arrested, and that the supplies they were bringing (medicine, toys, olive trees and cement) have been confiscated. (Full press release below)

The IPSC in Dublin will be staging an emergency protest tomorrow Wednesday 1st July, 5pm, at the GPO on O'Connell Street. We encourage everyone to come along and support it and the kidnapped members of the Free Gaza Movement. Demand their release, demand the return of the supplies, demand the release of the boat, demand a safe sea-passage to Gaza, and demand that the criminal Siege of Gaza be lifted!

As this is short notice we would appreciate it if you could spread the word among any contacts you may have, personal or professional (media etc). Many thanks.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Wed Jul 01, 2009 00:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Mr Regev

I hereby express my outrage at the interference by Israel in boarding the relief boat intended for Gaza, the Spirit of Humanity, kidnapping the peace activists and humanitarian workers aboard and preventing the peace boat from reaching its destination in Gaza.

Israel's continued siege of Gaza is an ongoing disgrace, a flouting not just of international law but all laws of humanity.

I also hereby condemn Israel's continued robbery of Palestinians' land and the brutal violence perpetrated against non-violent protestors in Palestinian towns like Bil'in and Nil'in. Last night, under cover of darkness, your soldiers entered houses in Bil'in, terrorising children, kidnapping two of them and removing them to an unknown destination.

It is a cruel irony that one of the peace activists on board the Spirit of Humanity, Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire, an avowed pacifist, was shot by your soldiers in that very town of Bil'in where she gave and suffered personal witness to the violence of the IDF in dealing with non-violent protest.

Only ten weeks ago, on 17 April 2009, you shot dead Basem Ibrahim Abu-Rahma, a peaceful protestor, also in Bil'in - the latest in a long list of murders by your IDF, and on 12 December last there was another murder at the Wall in Jayyus.

Your most recent attack on peace activists is but another sign to the outside world of the cruel nature of the present State of Israel and it all bodes ill for the future.

The name Gaza will forever ring a bell in the minds of people everywhere, a bell relating with its mournful toll the shocking holocaust you perpetrated on the people of that region in December and January last and your continuing siege of the Gazan people.

For shame.

With best personal wishes

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Sun Jul 19, 2009 22:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A poem called Spirit of Humanity written by Mairead while she was incarcerated in Ramle prison in Israel on June 30th last has been posted on prophetic imagery website and can be seen at

Related Link:
author by Ben Abupublication date Sun Jul 19, 2009 23:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is another link in the above website ( which contains a moving appeal to President Barak Obama to lift the brutal siege on Gaza:

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