No 1383 Posted by fw, June 30, 2015
“At least nine people from the international crew remain in Israeli custody after their ship was seized early Monday morning roughly 100 nautical miles from Gaza. A total of 18 people from around the world were on the vessel, and those who are not currently detained have been deported. Campaigners argue that Israel’s seizure of the vessel –named Marianne of Gothernburg – in itself constitutes piracy and kidnapping, as the boat was in international waters.” —Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams
To his considerable discredit, Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister, is on record as issuing a stern warning against Canadian participation in Flotilla III:
“You are strongly advised against participating in any attempt to break the naval blockade. Canadian officials may not be able to provide you with consular assistance if you choose to participate in the flotilla. Participants may be detained by Israeli officials prior to their deportation. In cases of deportation, local authorities are not obliged to notify the Canadian embassy.” [Source: In defiance of Harper’s warning, Canadians will be on board Freedom Flotilla III boats heading for Gaza].
In fact, a Canadian was reported to be aboard the pirated ship. Predictably, Harper will remain silent. And it’s highly unlikely that NDP’s Mulcair, Liberal’s Trudeau, or Green’s Elizabeth May will risk criticism of Israel for fear of alienating Jewish Canadian voters this election year.
Below is an embedded video capturing the Israeli use of Tasers during the violent boarding of the Marianne vessel, followed by the accompanying text. Alternatively, click on the following linked title for the original report by Common Dreams.
At least nine people from Sweden, Norway, and Canada remain in Israeli custody
[VIDEO — IDF violence against ‘Marianne’ peace sailors — Published on Jun 30, 2015 by Freedom Flotilla Coalition — Video shows the violence used by Israeli commandos during the kidnapping of ‘Marianne’ boat of Freedom Flotilla III].
“It’s important to document the violence our activists suffer, but it is also really important to realize that this violence and these crimes are something that happens every day and every week in these waters to fishermen from Gaza,” Staffan Granér, spokesperson for Ship to Gaza–Sweden, told Common Dreams.
At least nine people from the international crew remain in Israeli custody after their ship was seized early Monday morning roughly 100 nautical miles from Gaza. A total of 18 people from around the world were on the vessel, and those who are not currently detained have been deported.
Campaigners argue that Israel’s seizure of the vessel—named Marianne of Gothernburg—in itself constitutes piracy and kidnapping, as the boat was in international waters.
Swedish officials echoed this argument. Veronica Nordlund, speaking on behalf of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, stated on Tuesday: “Granted the information we have been given, the Israeli navy intervention took place in international waters. According to law it’s only the flag state, in this case Sweden, who is allowed to act against another ship in international waters. Sweden has expressed their opinion on the event to Israel.”
The Marianne was sailing alongside three supporting vessels—Rachel, Vittorio, and Juliano II. Altogether the boats carried 47 people from 17 countries under the banner of “Freedom Flotilla III.”
Israel has a bloody history of attacking such vessels, including the 2010 assault on the Mavi Marmara ship sailing from Turkey that killed nine people and wounded dozens.
Despite the risks, global campaigners continue to sail in a symbolic show of solidarity and resistance to the blockade, which is politically and financially backed by the United States and enabled by the direct participation of Egypt.
The three supporting vessels in Freedom Flotilla III turned back to the Greek ports they embarked from following the Israeli military’s seizure of the Marianne. But global campaigners say they are already setting their sights on the next voyage.
Ehab Lotayef, a Montreal-based engineer and writer, is aboard one of the supporting boats in the Freedom Flotilla III that is currently en route to Greece. He passed along the message to Common Dreams: “We are proud of everyone who participated in Freedom Flotilla III, whatever their role. Now we are focusing on future flotilla to continue to challenge the blockade of Gaza until it ends completely and Palestinians regain their full rights.”
Two Canadians detained after Israel illegally seizes Freedom Flotilla III ship by Megan Devlin, rabble.ca, June 30, 2015 — Two Canadians aboard Freedom Flotilla III, Robert Lovelace and Kevin Neish, remain in custody after their ship, the Marianne de Goteborg was illegally seized by the Israeli navy early Monday morning, in international waters. They’re being held at Givon detention centre in Ramla, Israel where they are awaiting deportation, said David Heap, the spokesperson in Canada for the Freedom Flotilla. The other three ships in Freedom Flotilla III are headed back to port in Greece. For more information, click on the preceding linked title…
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