Aid ship Rachel Corrie seized by Israel, passengers ‘unharmed’

The Israeli military seized the aid ship MV Rachel Corrie early this morning, preventing the delivering of over 1000 tons of medical and construction supplies to besieged Gaza.

The Free Gaza Movement said all the passengers “are believed to be unharmed.”

The Rachel Corrie carried 11 passengers and 9 crew from 5 different countries, mostly Ireland and Malaysia. The passengers included Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, Parit Member of the Malaysian Parliament Mohd Nizar Zakaria, and former U.N. Assistant Secretary General, Denis Halliday.  

On Monday elite Israeli military commandos stormed six humanitarian aid ships taking part in the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ to Gaza, killing at least 9 civilian passengers and injuring dozens more while the ships were in international waters. The Rachel Corrie was part of the flotilla but had to stay behind in Malta for repairs.

Earlier, Halliday had said that everyone on board the Rachel Corrie was prepared to cooperate with the Israeli military if they boarded.

“When they tell they are about to board we will cooperate because it’s too dangerous not to do so, particularly as you say it may be at night which is the usual tactic. We’re not fools, we’re not about to throw away our lives,” Halliday told ABC News on Thursday.

Israeli military confirmed on Saturday noon, Gaza time, that the Rachel Corrie had been boarded without incident. An Israeli Defense Forces spokesman said the ship would be directed to dock at Israel’s southern port of Ashdod.

 

 

The Rachel Corrie is a converted merchant ship bought by pro-Palestinian activists and named after the 23-year-old American peace activist from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003, set off Monday from Malta. The ship carrying medical equipment, wheelchairs, school supplies and cement, a material Israel has banned in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

According to organizers of the aid effort, the Freedom Flotilla was an effort by a coalition of human rights and humanitarian organizations to nonviolently break through Israel’s illegal blockade, and deliver much needed humanitarian and developmental aid to the Palestinians of Gaza. The United Nations and activists who have recently visited Gaza, say the Israeli blockade, in place since 2007, denies residents of Gaza the basic needs of life: a variety of foods, building materials, electricity, fuel, medicines and school supplies.

2 Responses to Aid ship Rachel Corrie seized by Israel, passengers ‘unharmed’

  • Nikos Retsos:

    Israel abandoned Gaza unconditionally and allowed Gazans to have an election and elect a government of their own. They did, and elected Hamas -rather than the corrupt Palestinian Authority. The government of Gaza, therefore, has the right to control its
    shoreline, and use it under international law to import food and
    construction material. Hamas legal right, and the international community’s interest as a whole is reserved under international law – as quoted below:

    UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION OF THE LAW OF THE SEA
    Article59

    “Basis for the resolution of conflicts regarding the attribution of rights and jurisdiction in the exclusive economic zone.

    In cases where this Convention does not attribute rights or jurisdiction to the coastal State or to other States within the exclusive economic zone, and a conflict arises between the interests of the coastal State and any other State or States, the conflict should be resolved on the basis of equity and in the light of all the relevant circumstances, taking into account the respective importance of the interests involved to the parties as well as to the international community as a whole.”

    The international community is outraged, therefore, by Israel’s actions, and by the nonchalant U.S. support that proves the
    U.S. double standards on its foreign policy. The continued Israel quarantine will only show the international community that
    when it comes to Middle East, Israel and the U.S. are the rogue
    states – not Iran. And as the recent events in Eastern Mediterranean have proved, the international community doesn’t
    buy the U.S. and Israeli propaganda that “Iran is a threat to
    the international community.” If anything, the international community’s outrage against Israel’s actions and the U.S. blind support for them, is proof that the world sees there an arrogant policy of “might is right” by the U.S. and Israel without regard of the rights of other inhabitants, and of the sensibilities and interests of the Arab and other Middle East countries. Nikos Retsos, retired professor

  • Charles Jacks:

    I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. Mathew 18:18 If this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMUQtLUz9e0&feature=related is not acceptable to you as your final existence then do for others what you would have done for yourself. The root action of Zionism is the ethnic cleansing of the Holy Land of the Palestinians. If you would not accept this for your children then speak out against Israel’s treatment of its indigenous population. Full speed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm95gqdiwJQ&feature=related