Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Israeli Navy Attacks Civilian Mercy Ship



Yesterday's press release:

Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage. Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so. Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured.

There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.

It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers!

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264
mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
mediasar@mod.gov.il

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.

TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY TO STOP THE ISRAELI NAVY FROM ENDANGERING THE DIGNITY AND ITS PASSENGERS!

passengers include, among others, surgeons, journalists, and politicians, including former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

18 Comments:

Blogger Gary Baumgarten said...

Israel's attack on Gaza will be the topic of today's News Talk Online on Paltalk.com at 5 PM New York time.

Please go to www.garybaumgarten.com and click on the Join The Room button to join the conversation.

Thanks,

Gary

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish latin amercan governments (en especial mi pas Argentina) sent aid ships and humanitarian missions to gaza immediately.

Aguante palestina!

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Halima said...

Salaam aleikom Laila! May Allaah reward you for spreading al the info about what's really happening! We are many that cry day in and day out and we call to our Lord to bring justice, to help our sisters and brothers in Gaza (and everywhere) and to stop all the authrocities.

3:18 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Assalumu alakum Laila, I have been reading your blog for the last year or so. Your talent for writing and the grasp of English is inspiring. My prayers are with your family in Gaza. My husband also has family in Gaza. The Israeli atrocities need to stop! alhumdillah we have blogs like yours to find out what really goes on in Gaza.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Moish said...

I have a question. What would you have Israel do?

That was a simply stated question, but let's complicate it.

Let's say Israel were to allow full access of goods and services into Gaza, obviously stop the bombing, and talk to Hamas unconditionally, what comes next? What happens if Hamas were to still fire missiles into Israel? What should Israel do?

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, let's stop the atrocities on both sides. Let's pray for the victims of violence on both sides.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous fathima said...

thank you for posting this. i wouldn't have heard about it otherwise. it's a comment on the expendability of Palestinian lives that i'm hoping that the presence of an American presidential candidate will draw more attention to the issue, but it's also a comment on the expendability of black female/resistant lives that i suspect it won't.

our thoughts are with you and yours.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza"

First time I ever heard a description of CNN journalists as a mission of mercy.


Instead, why don't you report the humanitarian aid and hospital supplies Israel passed on yesterday (tuesday) night?

Y.

9:00 AM  
Blogger eurofrank said...

Heba stopped blogging because she said nobody was listening. We pray that she and her children are still alive and unhurt.

These letters from this morning's Guardian illustrate that 10% of the UK Parliament at least are listening.

I have included those from both points of view

Israel's continuing massive military strikes on Gaza are an outrage that the international community must not allow to continue (Reports, 30 December). Palestinian rocket attacks that traumatise the lives of communities in southern Israel are also utterly unacceptable. Both sides must cease fire. Israel's actions are disproportionate and counterproductive to achieving either security for the people of Israel or peace in the Middle East. Physicians for Human Rights (Israel) have warned that "targeting of civilians and of medical facilities is a breach of international humanitarian law. The targets chosen by the Israeli military include also clearly civilian installations."

Gaza is one of the poorest and most densely populated places on Earth. For the past two years, the blockade and previous Israeli strikes had already disrupted electricity supplies and access to clean water. Even before the current attack, Gaza's health system was near collapse. Hospitals are short of medicines, blood and essential equipment. Only half of Gaza's 58 ambulances are functioning.

We call on the international community, and especially the high contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva convention, to intervene to stop the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza. We call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties and for an embargo on the supply of military equipment to both sides. The international community must also assert unambiguously that there is no military route to peace in the Middle East and redouble its efforts to create a secure and independent state of Palestine alongside a secure and independent Israel.

Richard Burden MP, Lyn Brown MP, Peter Bottomley MP, Sir Gerard Kaufman MP, John Hemming MP, Martin Linton MP, Karen Buck MP, Nia Griffith MP, Natascha Engel MP, Martin Salter MP, Paul Flynn MP, Rob Marris MP, Andy Love MP, David Drew MP, Neil Gerrard MP, Hywel Francis MP, Clive Efford MP, Ian Taylor MP, Phyllis Starkey MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Andy Slaughter MP, Jim Devine MP, John McDonnell MP, Frank Cook MP, Tom Levitt MP, Michael Connarty MP, Chris McCafferty MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, Simon Hughes MP, Danny Alexander MP, Sarah Teather MP, Madeleine Moon MP

We write to express our disgust, condemnation and concern at the attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip killing over 350 people - including women and children. There is little doubt civilian deaths will continue to rise as Israel shows no signs of stopping its offensive on the people of Gaza. The situation is bleak, with hospitals running out of medical supplies as the Israeli blockade continues to suffocate the people of Gaza. The region's power and infrastructure networks are on the verge of collapse with more than 85% of Gazans depending on UN food aid - which is at critically low levels.

We call on the Scottish and UK governments to do all they can to pressure the Israeli government to halt attacks on the Gazan people who are being collectively punished for the actions of a minority. While we believe that Israel has the right to defend itself and its civilians from rocket attacks, it cannot be allowed to collectively punish, maim and kill innocent Palestinian civilians in the process. When the assault first began, Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak said the action would not be short and would become increasingly intense. We believe that a strong statement of condemnation of Israel's actions must be forthcoming from world leaders and political institutions before the air attacks escalate and ground troops sent into Gaza.

We urge our leaders to do all they can to halt the killing of innocent lives and send a strong message of condemnation to the Israelis for their current attacks.

Mohammad Sarwar MP, Katy Clark MP, Angus Robertson MP (Westminster SNP Leader), Jim McGovern MP, Jim Sheridan MP, Russell Brown MP, Mike Weir MP, Angus MacNeil MP, Anne Moffat MP, Tom Clarke MP, Mark Lazarowicz MP, Baroness Jenny Tonge, Alyn Smith MEP, Pauline McNeill MSP, Sandra White MSP, Jamie Hepburn MSP and 23 others

We are horrified by the bloodletting and destruction in Gaza, but we cannot ignore that it was Hamas that called an end to the ceasefire last week and escalated its rockets, mortars and missiles launched at Israeli civilians.

Following years of attack and with hundreds of thousands of Israelis - both Jew and Arab - unable to go about their daily lives due to this intolerable threat, Israel has been left with very few options. Hamas shows no interest in peace. Not only is it unwilling to seek reconciliation with Israel, it torpedoed Egyptian-brokered talks to bring about reconciliation with their fellow Palestinians.

It is therefore Hamas, and its Iranian sponsors, who must answer to their own people, as to why they brought this destruction on Gaza.

Louise Ellman MP, Andrew Dismore MP, Andrew Gwynne MP, Eric Joyce MP, Baroness Meta Ramsay

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having read the HAMAS charter it is clear that a negotiated settlement is explicitly excluded as a possibility. The Israelis have shown great restraint which has predictably got them nowhere. They really have no option other than to exterminate HAMAS.

Israel officially declared a military exclusion zone in the waters around Gaza. This is done to ensure that civilian vessels are not caught up in the fighting. Britain did the same around the Falklands and it is legal, in fact obligatory to do so in International waters where a conflict is to occur. The skipper of Dignity was reckless in entering this zone and is just using the incident to fool people too stupid to think it through.

By the way can you tell us about the fate of Israeli sympathizers who are captured by Hasma in Gaza?

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, Thank you for your blog!!! My words cannot express enough. My heart is weeping. The majority of Isrealis are robotic thinkers. I have a 2 year old child. And I am a shamefull guilt-filled Israeli woman, living in kiryat Tivon.
Peace
Gila

3:03 PM  
Blogger RosaLux said...

Thank you for letting us know what it's like in Gaza right now. I'm shaking with fear for the people I love there now and for all of Palestine. All my love to your family. Keep writing through it all.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous carol martin said...

Thank you for your information. I would like to be kept up to date with what is happening there. I am an indigenous woman on this "occupied land they call Canada." My partner is palestinian and he is having a very difficult time watching what is happening to his people. Please keep up the work and or please feel free to email me with info that i could forward to others. We need to keep the voice of palestine strong. Stay strong.

9:36 PM  
Blogger hicham said...

May Allah protect you and your family.

Hicham

9:42 PM  
Blogger Meead S. said...

Thank you for your blog. Gaza needs our voices. Speak up every body!

3:14 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thank you for your blog. It provides us with important information in a time when that commodity is not always reliable. I hope your family is safe and that an end to this madness comes soon.

The international community (U.N.) should insist that both parties cease hostilities. There is no resolution to be found in this insanity. Obama must come out for an immediate ceasefire. The daughters of citizens of both states are endangered.

May all (somehow) be safe.

6:38 AM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

Let's say Israel were to allow full access of goods and services into Gaza, obviously stop the bombing, and talk to Hamas unconditionally, what comes next? What happens if Hamas were to still fire missiles into Israel? What should Israel do?

Let's imagine that Israel would do all those wonderful things they're never gonna do, and then let's suppose that after all those wonderful things, Hamas would still fire missiles anyway. That makes sense.

This kind of argument is based on racist premises: Arabs can only kill and seek ultra-dominance.

Well, I'm not racist, and I'm absolutely certain that Hamas would not fire rockets, should Israel be humane.

But Israel is not humane and never will be, so that assumption is useless.

Instead, why don't you report the humanitarian aid and hospital supplies Israel passed on yesterday (tuesday) night?
Y.

Oh I got this one !
Picture a country that chokes you to death, and then just before you pass out and die, lets you breathe a little. Israel can let Palestinians breathe a little because they control exactly the amount of breathing they get.
That's not being nice, that's being clever and that's being the master.
Such a complete domination is not acceptable by any standard, much less the Nuremberg standards.
Here's some sarcasm:

Hey, did you know that the Nazis actually gave food to their prisoners ? So they wouldn't die ? Why don't people talk about that !? I don't understand, Nazis were actually so good to Jews in camps. They gave them food ! Food, man !! That's got to be taken into account !

Having read the HAMAS charter it is clear that a negotiated settlement is explicitly excluded as a possibility. The Israelis have shown great restraint which has predictably got them nowhere. They really have no option other than to exterminate HAMAS.
Oh boy, the charter of the organization Israel helped create, to undermine the peace process, that charter excludes the possibility of a settlement, and so you'll just have to kill all the bad motherf- till there's only good motherf- who will accept any settlement the Israelis want.
Hey, did you just say settlement ? Like the settlements that have been intentionally breaking every single peace process negotiation deal from the beginning ? Wow ! How's that for irony !

7:15 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

By the way can you tell us about the fate of Israeli sympathizers who are captured by Hasma in Gaza?

Dude, you tell the best stories.

Yeah, what happens to those who sympathize with the country that chokes the people to death ? Kills several hundreds of'em, wounds several thousands more, etc etc etc.

There are no sympathizers with Israel in Gaza. There are people who call for immediate peace, and work alongside other Israelis who are similarly opposed to their government. But there are no Israeli sympathizers, in the sense they sympathize with the State of Israel.

7:19 PM  

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