After Freedom Flotilla Kidnapped by Israeli Navy, Global Campaign Vows to Sail Again
Common Dreams report on the capture by Israeli military of ship on humanitarian mission to Gaza; Crew post videos saying "If you are watching this video it means we have been stopped..."
After Freedom Flotilla Kidnapped by Israeli Navy, Global Campaign Vows to Sail Again
By Text: Sarah Lazare Videos: Freedom Flotilla / commondreams.org
Jul 2, 2015

A freedom flotilla sailing to break the blockade of Gaza was captured early Monday morning by the Israeli navy and the 18 journalists, campaigners, and crew aboard are currently in the occupying army's custody, in an attack global supporters are calling piracy and kidnapping at high sea.

David Heap, spokesperson for the international Freedom Flotilla Coalition, told Common Dreams that supporters lost contact with the ship—the Marianne of Gothenburg—at approximately 5:00 AM Gaza time when it was roughly 100 nautical miles from the strip. The coalition still has not spoken with any of the people detained and does not have any information about their well-being.

Israeli authorities claimed they intercepted the vessel without incident, but the global coalition says there is reason to be skeptical of this claim.

Series of videos with crew members of the Freedom flotilla, recorded to be releases if they were intercepted by the Israeli authorities

"We have no reason to believe that Marianne’s capture was 'uneventful,' because the last time the IDF said something like that, in 2012, the people on board the 'Estelle' were badly tasered and beaten with clubs," said the coalition in a statement released Monday. "Back in 2010, ten passengers of Mavi Marmara were murdered by the IDF during a similar operation in international waters."

Whatever the details of the seizure, Heap emphasized that "it's an act of kidnapping to take international citizens from international waters to a country not of their choice against their will." The Israeli military's action, moreover, raises concerns that "the occupation and blockade policy extends to the entire eastern Mediterranean," the coalition said.

The Marianne originated in Sweden but carried people from around the world, including Tunisia, Spain, Morocco, and New Zealand. It was part of a global effort, under the banner of Freedom Flotilla III, that embarked from Greek ports Saturday in an effort to break the Israeli siege of Gaza—which is politically and financially backed by the United States and enabled by the active participation of Egypt.

In addition to the Marianne, the initiative included the supporting vessels Rachel, Vittorio, and Juliano II, and altogether the vessels carried 47 people from 17 countries.

"While the Flotilla bears much-needed aid, our main cargo is, as always, human solidarity and non-violent direct action for the respect of human rights," said Freedom Flotilla III in a statement.

The effort was supported by people around the world and followed numerous other attempts to sail against the siege of Gaza, in solidarity with the 1.8 million people living there—roughly half of whom are children. One of the most densely populated places on earth, Gaza faces an escalating humanitarian crisis due to the blockade, which has made it nearly impossible to rebuild destroyed infrastructure—from hospitals to refugee shelters to schools—after Israel's 50-day military assault last summer.

"While our attention is on our friends and colleagues on the boats, our goal is to stand with our civil society partners in Gaza," said Heap. "Our purpose is to bring the attention of the world to the inhumane blockade. Our thoughts are with the people waiting for us on the shore and waiting for the world to demand the end to this blockade."

The three boats accompanying the Marianne have turned around and are now en route to Greek ports. But Heap emphasized that this development is just temporary: "We will sail again."


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

0.0 ·
0

Support Films For Action

Films For Action empowers citizens with the information they need to help create a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

We receive no government or corporate funding and rely on our supporters to keep us going. Donate today.

Trending Today
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga55,577 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min3,453 views today ·
10 Female Revolutionaries That You Probably Didn't Learn About In History class
Kathleen Harris2,740 views today ·
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine1,154 views today ·
When We Judge a Person Harshly With a Label or Dismissal, We Kill the Human Being Inside of Them
Tim Hjersted1,099 views today ·
We All Suffer in This Love-Desert Society That We've Created - Is There an Alternative?
Tim Hjersted920 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick739 views today ·
How American Oligarchs Created the Concept of Race to Divide and Conquer the Poor
Courtland Milloy490 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley470 views today ·
Load More
Join us on Facebook
After Freedom Flotilla Kidnapped by Israeli Navy, Global Campaign Vows to Sail Again