Contact lost with #FreedomWaves to Gaza in Eastern Mediterranean
Press release from the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign, 12pm Friday November 4th
Irish and Canadian ships sailing with Freedom Waves to Gaza are likely being illegally boarded and commandeered right now by the Israeli military in international waters – or they are about to be. Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have been unable to make contact with the MV Saoirse since our last communication with the boat at 10.58.
At 11:12 am (Irish time) Israeli forces made radio contact with the Tahrir and asked them to state their final destination. Canadian boat organizer, Ehab Lotayef, responded: ‘The conscience of humanity’ and when the Israeli forces repeated the question again, asking for the boats’ final destination, he replied: ‘The betterment of humankind’.
“We have lost contact with the Saoirse and Tahrir – there seems to be a communications blackout,” said Laurence Davis, spokesperson for Irish Ship to Gaza. “Up to now we had been in regular, scheduled check-in call contact with the Saoirse. Given Israel’s stated intent to illegally board the ships, it may be that this has already happened.”
“If Israel has yet again illegally boarded peaceful boats sailing to Gaza through international waters, then it means that this rogue state thinks it can still act with impunity despite worldwide condemnation of its attack on the Flotilla of 2010. We are deeply concerned for all passengers and crew aboard the two boats, given Israel’s disregard for human life on the 2010 Flotilla in which 9 activists were shot dead,” says Claudia Saba, an organizer of Irish Ship to Gaza. “We’re calling on people to take to the streets in emergency solidarity rallies.”
The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement to challenge the unlawful Israeli blockade of Gaza. Despite months of political, military, secret service, and bureaucratic interference, the Irish Ship to Gaza and the Canadian Boat to Gaza had managed to reach international waters. Bios of delegates on board the Saoirse are available here: http://irishshiptogaza.org/?page_id=494