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Flotilla members still imprisoned as video emerges of violent Israeli attack during capture

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The following press release was sent by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition:

It has been more than 50 hours since Israeli navy attacked the “Marianne” in international waters, 100nm from Gaza, during one of its usual acts of State piracy, always behaving as the bullying state of eastern Mediterranean. 18 participants on board were kidnapped and brought by force and against their will to the military Ashdod port. During the operation of seizure of the “Marianne”, which IDF called “uneventful”, Israeli soldiers used violence against participants on board.

Dr. Bassel Ghattas (Member of Knesset), Dr. Moncef Marzouki (ex-President of Tunisia), Ana Miranda (Member of European Parliament) and Ohad Hemo (Channel 2 journalist), were released and the rest were moved to Givon camp at Ramla area, where they remain hostages until this moment.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition stands with all sailors of the “Marianne” who are illegaly kept in the Israeli camp. We demand that the State of Israel immediately releases them and also returns the “Marianne of Gothenberg”. We demand that our governments condemn violence of the State of Israel against peaceful citizens and stand by the rights of the Palestinian people.

The remaining “Marianne” passengers still in Israeli camp are:

Nadya Kevorkova, Russia

Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Sweden

Robert Lovelace, Canada

Joel Opperdoes, Sweden

Gustave Bergstrom, Sweden

Herman Reksten, Norway

Kevin Neish, Canada

Jonas Karlin, Sweden

Charlie Andreasson, Sweden

Ammar Al-Hamdan, Norway

Mohammed El Bakkali, Morocco

Dror Feiler, Sweden

Ruwani Perera, New Zealand

Jacob Bryant, New Zealand

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24 Responses

  1. just
    July 1, 2015, 9:28 am

    I don’t think that this is going to be remembered as one of Israel’s finest hours… more violence and demonstration of military might against peaceful activists piled on top of the disgraceful behavior and words of Mazuz, Hazan, and Netanyahu & Co.

    From Ship to Gaza Sweden:

    ““No regret , no surrender , Freedom Flotilla succeeded it’s mission,” -Interwiev with Basel Ghattas

    For member of the Knesset Dr. Basel Ghattas, It is true the Freedom Flotilla II didn’t reach Gaza, “ but it succeeded on its mission, it achieved by large its goals as it showed the entire world how Israelis don’t respect the International law .”According to Ghattas, the Freedom Flotilla shed light on the Israeli occupation’s reality and how it turned Gaza to a closed prison.

    “No surrender, let me know when it is the next Freedom Flotilla and I will be the first to participate , It is part of my political duty as a Palestinian living in Israel,” he said.

    – Hijack, violence and threats

    Explaining how Israelis “hijacked” The Marianne boat, Ghattas said that around 13 Israeli military warship surrounded the boat after midnight on Sunday.

    “ One of the warships had a military helicopter on its deck, he stressed.”

    He said Israeli navy ordered the crew to turn back the boat to where it came from.

    “Gaza is our destination, we will not changed it, “ was the answer they received from the Captain Joel .

    Than , Ghattas said he started negotiating with them for an hour in order to avoid any confrontation or violence.

    “We told them you are hijacking the boat, it is a Swedish boat and by attacking it you attack Sweden itself,”

    “What you are doing is illegal, you are aggressively attacking us in international water.”

    Afterwards, the Israelis soldiers climbed into the boat and took control of it.

    They started vocally insulting us, pushing some of us and attacked Swedish activists and they even used electrical teaser against the Swedish crew member Charlie Anderson.

    They started interrogating us. The former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki refused to answer approach and said: “What you are doing is illegal and I’m in international water so under the protection of international law and therefore you will not get a word of me.”

    He said the captain of the boat was smart and turn off the engines as soon as IDF boarded the ship, which cost them hours to restart them again in order to take the boat to Ashdod port.

    Ghattas said they arrived before sun set to the port, but IDF kept turning around till it got dark and than entered “ so that media can’t see how they hijacked the boat.”…”

    https://shiptogaza.se/sv/news/no-regret-no-surrender-freedom-flotilla-succeeded-its-mission-interwiev-basel-ghattas

    13 (thirteen) military warships, an attack helicopter, and I read somewhere that they had a low- flying plane tracking them as well! I’m really looking forward to the other forthcoming interviews~ each of the imprisoned have a tale to tell. Free the 18 peaceful humanitarians NOW!

    It’s a sick place. Thanks, MW editors. #ReleaseFlotillaSailors @ https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReleaseFlotillaSailors?src=hash

  2. lysias
    July 1, 2015, 10:05 am

    Why did the other boats in the flotilla turn back and return to Greece? Had they been sabotaged?

    • just
      July 1, 2015, 10:29 am

      I only know of one instance of sabotage, lysias.

      That the other ships return to their ports was part of their plan according to this:

      “According to Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s latest contact with the “Marianne” at 2AM (Gaza time), the boat is aproximately 105 nautical miles and continues on its course towards the Palestinian territorial waters and the port of Gaza. It is expected to reach its destination during the next 24 hours.

      As the “Marianne” enters the final segment of its trip, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to reveal its strategy. At this moment the three sailing boats accompanying and supporting the “Marianne” (“Rachel”, “Vittorio” and “Juliano II”) are changing their course and will be heading back to their ports of origin. Political representatives, journallists, peace activists on board, a total number of 29 sailors, have assisted the Marianne and its people towards their long and difficult journey, which has always remained to end the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza.

      We demand that our respective governments act with humanity and to ensure the safety of all of the delegates on board the “Marianne”. We call once again on the government of Israel to finally lift the blockade on Gaza and let the peaceful ship, the “Marianne”, reach its destination in order to deliver its cargo of dignity and hope. We urge all international organizations to work towards opening the port of Gaza to let people and products travel freely to the world. Our destination remains the conscience of humanity.”

      https://freedomflotilla.org/2-uncategorised/23-freedom-flotilla-iii-marianne-approaches-gaza-sailing-boats-return-back

  3. just
    July 1, 2015, 1:03 pm

    Must see tweet:

    “Pirates of the Mediterranean….”

    https://twitter.com/StefanRajert/status/616273790885076992

    There’s nothing funny about the actions of Israel wrt the hijacking of the ship nor the kidnapping of the peace activists, but this is clever! Maybe Annie can work her magic on this tweet…

  4. Kay24
    July 1, 2015, 1:55 pm

    Are the countries that these brave people come from demanding the release of their citizens?
    It is the least they can do. These arrogant zionists keep getting away with these crimes against unarmed civilians.

  5. Citizen
    July 1, 2015, 2:41 pm

    Why didn’t Sweden’s navy escort the flotilla until the end of the high seas?

  6. CigarGod
    July 2, 2015, 8:36 am

    I admire rational, commited activists everywhere. Their foundation of equality and freedom, is made of stone.
    On the other hand, Israel is only commited. Their foundation of theft and paranoia, is made of sand.

    • Kris
      July 2, 2015, 11:35 am

      from the book of Matthew:

      24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

      26“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27“The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

  7. eusebio
    July 2, 2015, 8:54 am

    It is to praise and admire this work of activists who struggle for freedom and rights in Palestine Good Bless to all

  8. Palikari
    July 2, 2015, 9:06 am

    There is a BLOCKADE. How can you expect to be able to get in freely when there is a blockade? By the way, to break a blockade is illegal under international law.

    You just wanted to make a show (yet again). There is no siege on the Gaza Strip. You could have just sailed to Ashdod and all supplies would have been transferred to Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing.

    If you were truly concerned about human rights, you would not be sailing in support of a terrorist regime which summarily executes citizens and uses children as human shields.

    • just
      July 2, 2015, 9:26 am

      “By the way, to break a blockade is illegal under international law.”

      That’s a hoot! You and your PM use words like ‘illegal’ and ‘international law’ and cite the otherwise despised by Israel ‘UN support’ when it suits you. Never mind that you and your country commit illegal acts that contravene international law and UN resolutions on a daily basis!

      The blockade and siege of Gaza is real. It is designed to produce maximum suffering and privation and misery among the captive population. As for your parting paragraph that is one giant lie, you plagiarised that from Netanyahu, Lapid and Ya’alon.

      You obviously have NO concern about human rights.

      Why would these, or any, humanitarians want to sail to Ashdod???

    • eljay
      July 2, 2015, 9:42 am

      Palikari: There is a BLOCKADE. How can you expect to be able to get in freely when there is a blockade? By the way, to break a blockade is illegal under international law. … ||

      1. A Zio-supremacist appeals to international law. That is comedy gold! :-)

      2. The doors and windows of the rapist’s house are securely locked. How can you expect to be able to get in freely to liberate the victims chained in his basement? By the way, break-and-enter is illegal!

      || … There is no siege on the Gaza Strip. You could have just sailed to Ashdod and all supplies would have been transferred to Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing. ||

      The victims are not being held against their will. Just hand the food and medical supplies over to the rapist and he will make sure everything gets transferred to them.

      || If you were truly concerned about human rights, you would not be sailing in support of a terrorist regime which summarily executes citizens and uses children as human shields. ||

      Don’t worry – they weren’t sailing in support of Israel.

      • a blah chick
        July 2, 2015, 10:38 am

        || If you were truly concerned about human rights, you would not be sailing in support of a terrorist regime which summarily executes citizens and uses children as human shields. ||

        Don’t worry – they weren’t sailing in support of Israel.

        Bwahahahahaha!

      • Kris
        July 2, 2015, 10:47 am

        Wonderful, eljay!

    • CigarGod
      July 2, 2015, 9:45 am

      Just curious…
      What number is that comment on your hasbara cheat sheet?

    • Shmuel
      July 2, 2015, 9:47 am

      There is a BLOCKADE.

      Funny, Netanyahu said there wasn’t.

      • just
        July 2, 2015, 11:39 am

        +1, Shmuel!

        “The Orwellian logic of Israel’s blockade of Gaza

        It goes like this: There is no such blockade, and if you violate it, you will be arrested.

        The first rule of the Gaza blockade is – you do not speak about the Gaza blockade.

        The second rule of the Gaza blockade is – you do not speak about the Gaza blockade.

        The third rule of the Gaza blockade is – you do not violate the Gaza blockade.

        Earlier this week, Israeli soldiers intercepted a flotilla that tried to break Israel’s eight-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, taking over the Swedish ship Marianne and causing two other boats to reverse course. The operation was quick and no one was injured. The ship was redirected to the Port of Ashdod, and the activists on it were arrested for violating the maritime blockade keeping ships from entering or leaving Gaza.

        A day before they were arrested, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a public letter to the activists onboard the Marianne: “Welcome to Israel! It appears you have made a wrong turn. Perhaps you wished to sail somewhere not too far from here: Syria, where the Assad regime is massacring its people on a daily basis, with the support of the Iranian regime.”

        “There is no blockade of Gaza,” the letter continues, before detailing all the merchandise that Israel allows to enter the Gaza Strip.

        After the Israel Navy took over the Marianne, Netanyahu reiterated his point in a statement that claimed, once again, that there is no blockade of Gaza – but that Israel’s maritime blockade (or “preventing entry by the sea,” as he put it) is in accordance with international law. …”

        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.663996

    • diasp0ra
      July 2, 2015, 9:58 am

      “There is a BLOCKADE.”
      “There is no siege on the Gaza Strip.”

      Try again.

      • Kris
        July 2, 2015, 10:52 am

    • Kris
      July 2, 2015, 11:00 am

      siege, noun: “a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside.”

    • talknic
      July 2, 2015, 12:38 pm

      @ Palikari “By the way, to break a blockade is illegal under international law.”

      Cite the law

      “You could have just sailed to Ashdod and all supplies would have been transferred to Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing”

      You’re missing the point or brain cells..

      “If you were truly concerned about human rights, you would not be sailing in support of a terrorist regime which summarily executes citizens and uses children as human shields”

      They weren’t sailing in support of Israel.

    • lysias
      July 2, 2015, 12:41 pm

      By the way, to break a blockade is illegal under international law.

      Are you saying that it was illegal for the U.S., before it entered either of the two world wars, to send shipping to Britain (and France and Russia)?

  9. just
    July 2, 2015, 11:10 am

    A super article by Stuart Littlewood includes this important information:

    “Legal or not?

    Israel’s naval blockade is illegal and so was Israel’s interception of the Mavi Marmara and other Gaza-bound vessels in international waters in May 2010. So said the United Nations fact-finding mission set up by the Human Rights Council.

    The Mission’s team, chaired by Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, QC, a retired Judge of the International Criminal Court, reported they were “satisfied that the blockade was inflicting disproportionate damage upon the civilian population in the Gaza Strip and that as such the interception could not be justified and therefore has to be considered illegal…

    “The Mission considers that one of the principal motives behind the imposition of the blockade was a desire to punish the people of the Gaza Strip for having elected Hamas. The combination of this motive and the effect of the restrictions on the Gaza Strip leave no doubt that Israel’s actions and policies amount to collective punishment as defined by international law… No case can be made for the legality of the interception and the Mission therefore finds that the interception was illegal.”

    That wasn’t all. The naval blockade was implemented in support of the overall closure regime. “As such it was part of a single disproportionate measure of armed conflict and as such cannot itself be found proportionate. Furthermore, the closure regime is considered by the Mission to constitute collective punishment of the people living in the Gaza Strip and thus to be illegal and contrary to Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

    Intercepting the Mavi Marmara on the high seas was “clearly unlawful” and could not be justified even under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations [the right of self-defence].

    The Centre for Constitutional Rights also concluded that the Israeli blockade was illegal under international law. “Due both to the legal nature of Israel’s relationship to Gaza – that of occupier – and the impact of the blockade on the civilian population, amounting to ‘collective punishment’, the blockade cannot be reconciled with the principles of international law, including international humanitarian law. It is recalled that the international community, speaking through both the United Nations and individual States, has repeatedly and emphatically called for an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

    “The flotilla did not seek to travel to Israel, let alone ‘attack’ Israel. Furthermore, the flotilla did not constitute an act which required an ‘urgent’ response, such that Israel had to launch a middle-of-the-night armed boarding… Israel could also have diplomatically engaged Turkey, arranged for a third party to verify there were no weapons onboard and then peacefully guided the vessel to Gaza.”…

    …Craig Murray was Head of the Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office …“Israel has declared a blockade on Gaza and justified previous fatal attacks on neutral civilian vessels on the High Seas in terms of enforcing that embargo, under the legal cover given by the San Remo Manual of International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea. There are however fundamental flaws in this line of argument. It falls completely on one fact alone. San Remo only applies to blockade in times of armed conflict. Israel is not currently engaged in an armed conflict, and presumably does not wish to be. San Remo does not confer any right to impose a permanent blockade outwith times of armed conflict, and in fact specifically excludes as illegal a general blockade on an entire population.”

    Sporadic attacks from Gaza did not come close to reaching the bar of armed conflict that would trigger the right to impose a naval blockade, he said. When the UK suffered continued terrorist attack from the IRA (Irish Republican Army), sustaining many more deaths than anything Israel has suffered in recent years from Gaza, it would have been ridiculous to argue that the UK had a right to mount a general naval blockade of the Republic of Ireland.

    The EU Commission declared that “all those wishing to deliver goods to Gaza should do so through established channels”. The “established channel” for delivering goods to Gaza is of course the time-honoured route by sea, which is protected by maritime and international law. Flotilla organizers have offered their cargoes for inspection and verification by a trusted third party to allay Israel’s fears about weapon supplies. They should not have to deal direct with the belligerent regime that’s cruelly turning the screws on civilians with an illegal blockade. Anyone suggesting they must hand over their cargo to the aggressor seeks to legitimize the blockade, which we all know to be illegal and a crime against humanity.

    Quite simply, an attack on civilian ships carrying humanitarian assistance to Gaza cannot be justified by the existence of a blockade that violates international law. So Israel doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Nor does the cowardly British Government. Nor do the 80 percent of Conservative MPs and MEPs who, for whatever dark reasons, love and adore the abhorrent Israeli regime and the war criminals who run it. Therefore “all good men and true” should rally to support those brave humanitarian voyagers and ensure their governments back their play in future.”

    I heartily recommend the entire article here @ http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2015/07/untouchable-israel-continues-to-cripple-gaza-with-its-sea-blockade/

    Ban Ki- moon needs to exit.

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