Weekly Report Palestine: Special issue on Gaza’s flotilla attack by Israeli occupation forces, around 19 activists killed and 60 injured
1st of June, Gaza: Israeli soldiers attacked the “Mavi Marmara” in the night of the 30 to 31 of May, carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and was flying a white flag : a universal symbol of non-violence. It was also flying the Turkish flag, in international waters, giving it status as a sovereign extension of Turkey. Israeli soldiers armed and in gas masks, fast-roping from helicopters invested an aid ship filled with civilians — journalists, parliamentarians, human rights activists, mothers, doctors — headed to Gaza to break the inhuman siege that keeps 1.5 million people somewhere between life and death. According to numerous sources there are 19 deads and 60 persons injured, while some 700 activists, many Turks but including Israelis and Palestinians as well as Americans and many Europeans – among them politicians, a Jewish Holocaust survivor and Swedish author – were processed in and around Israel’s port of Ashdod, where the six ships of the blockade-running convoy had been escorted.
The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that 50 activists had been taken to Ben-Gurion Airport for voluntary repatriation. Around 629 had refused, and would be jailed while Israel weighed legal options.
The ” Mavi Marmara” was part of the Freedom Flotilla, which was organized by a coalition of groups that sought to break the Israeli-led siege on theGaza Strip that began in 2007. Together, the flotillacarried 700 civilian activists from around 50 countriesand over 10,000 tons of aid including food, medicines,medical equipment, reconstruction materials and equipment,as well as various other necessities arbitrarily banned by Israel. Israeli medias were placed under strict military censorship, and reported primarily from foreign sources.
I advise everyone to check this very powerfull article, of Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh: http://www.qumsiyeh.org/ofcowardicedignityandsolidarity/
31th May, Gaza: Israel Navy troops opened fire on pro-Palestinian activists aboard a six-ship aid flotilla sailing for the Gaza Strip. Reports of 10-16 humanitarian activists killed and 50-60 injured. The Israeli army firstly tried to make the media maneuver of saying they would arrest and take the boats when they enter Gaza coastal waters and tow the boats to port in Asdod (renamed Ashdod after the occupation of 1948). Instead the Israeli army decided to execute a surprise maneuver and attack the boats at night and in the north near Cyprus in International waters and then board the boats and take them to the northern port of Haifa. For updates check: http://witnessgaza.com/
28th of May, Beit Sahour: A conference gathering people from both Gaza and Beit Sahour (via the internet, as the apartheid laws forbade Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank to meet). Discussions were held as to how to advance the ideas of a one state solution as the only viable, logical, and just solution. On Friday, nearly 150 women from the Galilee, Jerusalem, and other parts of the West Bank came together for a tour of the wall and threatened areas in Bethlehem district.
28th of May Maa’sara: around 70 demonstrators – Palestinians, Israelis, some Italians and many French people. The demonstration was blocked by occupation forces at the entrance of the village. About 30 solders prevented the demonstrators from continuing marching on the villages land.