LATEST; THE HYENAS HAVE LANDED
LATEST; UPDATE !
As McGeough says,
"Sneaking up and around the boat, there are bullet-shaped hulks which soon became impossible to hide, they hunt like hyenas -- moving up and ahead on the flanks; pushing in, then peeling away; and finally, lagging before lunging."
WRITTEN BY FREE GAZA TEAM | 04 JUNE 2010
[Cyprus, June 4, 2010] The Rachel Corrie is 150 miles away from Gaza in international waters and on her way. They will arrive on Saturday morning. The 1200 ton cargo ship is the last ship from the Freedom Flotilla and is loaded with construction materials, 20 tons of paper and many other supplies that Israel refuses to allow into the imprisoned people of Gaza.
Some of the High-Profile people on board:
Mairead Maguire from Belfast, Ireland, a Nobel Peace Laureate (l976) and Co-founder of Peace People, Northern Ireland. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace and a nonviolent solution to the Ethnic/political conflict in Northern Ireland. Mairead went on the maiden Voyage of Dignity in October 2008, the second successful voyage for the Free Gaza Movement. She was also on Board ‘Spirit’ when Israel hijacked the Boat in International Waters, taking all 2l humanitarian passengers to Israel, where they were arrested, detained for a week in an Israeli prison and then deported.
Denis Halliday, from Ireland, a UN Assistant Secretary-General from 1994-98. Appointed by SG Boutros Ghali, he served as ASG UN Human Resources Management in New York and in mid 1997 to end 1998 as Head, Humanitarian Programme in Iraq to support the Iraqi people struggling under the genocidal impact of UN Sanctions. Since resigning from the UN in 1998, Halliday has delivered numerous parliamentary briefings, provided extensive media inputs and has given public/university lectures on Iraq, human rights, and the UN, in particular its reform.
Matthias Chang Wen Chieh is a Malaysian of Chinese descent. He is a Barrister of 32 years standing and once served as the Political Secretary to the Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. He is the author of three bestsellers, “Future Fast Forward”, “Brainwashed for War, Programmed to Kill”, and “The Shadow Money-Lenders and the Global Financial Tsunami”, published in the US and in Malaysia.
Mohd Nizar bin Zakaria,Perak, Malaysia, MP Mohd Nizar bin Zakaria is a Member of the Malaysian Parliament.
In addition, there is a three-member camera crew on board from Malaysia TV3 and journalis Shamsul Akmar bin Musa Kamal.
The passengers on board the ship have stated, “Communication is difficult and sometimes impossible and there are many rumors out there started by Israeli authorities, but there is no way we are going to Ashdod. We are, for sure, on our way to Gaza.”
Contact: Greta Berlin, 00 357 99 18 72 75
Mary Hughes 00 357 6 38 38
UPDATE; 1 AMERICAN AMONG THE DEAD
A State Department official says one of the nine people killed BY Israeli commandos who raided an international humanitarian mission in international waters on Monday was a 19-year-old U.S citizen.The official identified the victim as Furkan Dogan.
The official spoke privately because the matter has not been officially confirmed by the U.S. government.
The official said the victim had been shot four times in the head. An official from the charity that spearheaded the humanitarian campaign to break the blockade on Gaza identified the U.S. citizen as 19-year-old Furkan Dogan. He said Furkan Dogan, who held a U.S. passport, had four bullet wounds to the head and one to the chest.
One of the flotilla ships, the MV Rachel Corrie, has not gone to Ashdod in Israel as have, under instruction, the ships ‘intercepted’ yesterday by the Israeli Navy after its attack, yesterday morning’s, on the Mavi Marmara.
The Rachel Corrie is still making for Gaza. She is due to arrive there tomorrow – Wednesday 2nd June.
MV Rachel Corrie, her passengers and her cargo
A converted merchant ship, she was bought by Irish pro-Palestine activists and is named for an American woman killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003. She got separated from the flotilla by having to stay in Cyprus for an additional 48 hours en route.
She left Malta on Monday 31st May, carrying 15 activists and an international luminary in the peace movement.
Aboard her isMaguire, who, with her colleague, Betty Williams, created Norther Ireland’s Peace People and, the younger of the pair, became the youngest ever person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize when they were jointly awarded it for their work.
Ms Corrigan says that all of aid ships are purely humanitarian and none are carrying arms. She wants to see the ship get through in order to demonstrate to the people of Gaza that the world has not forgotten them and that it does care about what is happening to them.
She compares the 1.5 million population of Gaza to the Northern Ireland she knows. She describes their situation – totally cut off from the outside world by an illegal siege, their borders closed and with a shortage of medicine.
With Ms Maguire is Denis Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary General and Irish nationals, Jenny and Derek Graham.
Speaking to The Irish Times earlier today from the Rachel Corrie, Mr Graham said that the ship was bringing educational materials, construction materials and toys to Gaza. He said that the entire cargo had been inspected in Ireland and that he hoped the ship would get a safe passage.
The Toronto Star has reported that an unidentified Israeli marine lieutenant has told Israel’s Army Radio that his unit was prepared to block the ship. His was the unit responsible for the shooting on the Mavi Marmara causing an as yet uncertified number of deaths.
UN Security Council action
The UN Security Council has called for an independent and impartial investigation into the Israeli action i launching the commando rad on the aid ships in international waters.
Israel has countered that its own internal investigations will be adequate.
We do not understand why all the UN Security Council is doing is ‘calling’ for such an investigation Why can it not establish it from the UN? How could the Americans – still giving shelter to the indefensible – object to an independent and impartial investigation?
Oban Concern for Palestine
Graeme Pagan, Chair of Oban Concern for Palestine, has again written to Argyll’s MP,, asking him to contact Foreign Secretary, , to make the point to the UK Government that the MV Rachel Corrie must not be attacked as it sails alone for Gaza.
In asking Mr Reid to take the appropriate action, Mr Pagan has pointed out that: ‘There must not be another bloodbath & people must be free to travel in international & Gazan waters without fear of attack’.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2010
CONTACT: Rachel Corrie Foundation
Phone: 360.754.3998 or 360-359-6790
Parents of Rachel Corrie Respond to Gaza Flotilla Attack and sailing of MV Rachel Corrie
WASHINGTON - June 2 - We are heart-sick and outraged about the brutal attack launched by the Israeli Military on the Free Gaza Movement's flotilla of boats in the early morning hours (Eastern Mediterranean time), Monday, May 31. The boats were carrying civilian passengers and humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, and were clearly in international waters when this illegal attack occurred, in violation of international law.
The number of dead and injured are still unconfirmed, but lowest figures reported are 9 killed and 34 injured. The Israeli Government has still not released their names. Over 700 citizens from nearly forty countries were on board the flotilla vessels.
We grieve for those who have been killed and pray for the recovery of those who have been injured. We salute them for their sacrifice in solidarity with Gazans suffering under a prolonged and immoral siege, which is itself a despicable and illegal act of collective punishment upon a civilian population. People on board the flotilla boats included human rights activists, journalists, public servants, and Palestinians hoping to reunite with family members. Some of those on board, we know personally. We continue to marvel at the courage, dedication, and moral clarity of all these activists. Like our daughter Rachel Corrie, they were coming to the aid of the people of Gaza because governments of the world have failed to act. Our hearts, go out, as well, to the families and friends of all those on board the flotilla vessels, many of whom may still not know the fate of their loved ones.
We call on the U.S. Government and governments of the world to act now. First, the well-being of all the flotilla passengers still in Israel must be secured, and the identities of those killed and injured must be released immediately. Second, governments around the world must demand an independent investigation into the attack upon the flotilla and the killings that occurred. An Israeli-led investigation into an international incident of this magnitude is unacceptable. Our family's own experience has made it all too painfully clear that the Israeli military is unable or unwilling to adequately investigate itself. Third, the U.S. and other governments can and must insist that other boats from the flotilla, including the MV Rachel Corrie, named for our daughter, be permitted to sail through international waters to Gaza unobstructed. Finally, we demand that the governments of the world act as courageously as did the activists on the Free Gaza flotilla and, themselves, break the illegal and immoral siege of Gaza.
Cindy and Craig Corrie
Available for interview.
Please contact the Rachel Corrie Foundation
360.754.3998 or 360-359-6790
Cindy and Craig Corrie are the parents of human rights activist Rachel Corrie who was killed March 16, 2003, by an Israeli military, Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family's home. Seven years after her killing, a civil lawsuit in her case opened in Haifa, Israel March 10th and is now in recess until September. The Corries have made numerous visits to Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Egypt. In March 2009, they traveled with a Code Pink delegation from Egypt through Rafah Crossing to challenge the Gaza siege and to witness the aftermath of Israeli military attacks several months earlier in Operation Cast Lead. In September 2009, they returned to Gaza with the first Rachel Corrie Foundation Gaza Delegation. The Corries reside in Olympia, Washington, where through the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation they pursue justice and peace in the Middle East and address U.S. foreign policy in the region.. The Corries are recipients of a Human Rights Advocate of the Year Award from Seattle University's Human Rights Network, a Pillar of Peace Award from the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Friends Service Committee, and a Peacemakers Award from The Rebuilding Alliance in Redwood City, California.
IRELAND'S MOST SENIOR POLITICIAN WARNS ISRAEL
Ireland's most Senior elected poitician Michael D Higgins today demanded the safe passage for the MV Rachel Corrie.
In a statement, he said some people on the vessel had contacted him earlier today and stressed they wanted to avoid conflict and to be allowed unload their cargo to help the residents of the Gaza Strip.
"The Minister for Foreign Affairs . . . must make it clear that any assault on the Rachel Corrie would be regarded as a hostile act against Ireland and a clear breach of international law that could not be ignored by this country," Mr Higgins said.
JOIN THE IRISH DIASPORADOES NOW, FOR A JUST PEACE IN IRELAND - http://www.causes.com/DIASPORADOES