Παρασκευή, 4 Ιουνίου 2010

Rachel Corrie - Another aid ship on way to Gaza


Malaysia's government has urged Israel not to take any action that could harm people aboard a Malaysian-funded Irish aid ship, now heading to Gaza.The MV Rachel Corrie is carrying 11 activists, including Mairead Corrigan, a Nobel Peace laureate, and eight crew members, just days after another aid vessel was boarded by Israeli soldiers who killed nine activists.Anifah Aman, Malaysia's foreign affairs minister, said in a statement issued late on Thursday that the Israeli authorities should ensure a safe passage for the vessel to Gaza to deliver the humanitarian cargo. The Rachel Corrie is funded by Perdana Global Peace Organisation, a Malaysian non-governmental organisation headed by Mahathir Mohamad, the country's former prime minister. The vessel hoped to arrive in Gaza on Saturday with a cargo of humanitarian aid. Shamsul Akmar, one of the activists aboard the ship, told Al Jazeera that all the people on board are all peace activists. "We do not know what to expect, but hope that we will be given safe passage to get the aid to Gaza," he said. Despite fears of an Israeli attack, the peace activists are determined to try and break through the blockade. "If the Israeli army attacks us and tries to board our ship, we will not attempt any resistance," Shamsul said. "We will take our boat, as far as possible and if they do come on board forcefully, we will not resist." The ship is named after an American woman who was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003, while trying to protest a house demolition. Brian Cowen, the Irish prime minister, asked Israel to permit the Irish-owned aid ship to dock in Gaza.

Israeli offer
Israel has offered to escort the vessel and deliver the civilian aid for it and said Egypt was prepared to do the same. But the activists said that they were concerned that not all cargo would be delivered. The ship has medical equipment, school supplies and cement, a material Israel has banned from entering Gaza. Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, said that Israel would not allow its Gaza blockade to be breached. "No ship will reach Gaza. The Rachel Corrie will not reach Gaza," he told Israel Radio. Mathias Chang, an activist from the Perdana Global Peace Organisation on board the ship, said that they were aware of the risk that the Israelis may intercept them, but were still determined to go ahead. "We have told the whole world, and we have told the Israeli media and television, that we are peace activists," Chang said. "If and when they intercept us, we will be waiting on the top deck of the ship, with nothing but the clothes on our backs."
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DUBLIN, Ireland — All of Ireland is following the progress of the Rachel Corrie to see if it becomes the little boat that finally breaks the maritime blockade of Gaza. The Irish-owned aid ship is sailing through rough seas in the Mediterranean and is due to reach its destination Friday evening or Saturday morning. Israel has said it will maintain its embargo on any ship carrying supplies for Gaza except through Israeli channels. The 1,200-tonne Rachel Corrie was scheduled to sail with the humanitarian aid convoy seized by Israeli commandos Monday but was delayed for mechanical reasons. On board are five Irish citizens including former United Nations Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire. “We are the only Gaza-bound aid ship left out here,” Halliday said. “We are determined to deliver our cargo, which includes 1,000 tonnes of cement and 20 tonnes of educational materials and toys, along with vital medical supplies.” Speaking by satellite phone with The Irish Times, Halliday called on the Obama administration and the European Union to ensure safe passage for the ship. He said that passengers would not put up any resistance if they were boarded and would inform the Israeli authorities by VHF radio that “we have put up our hands.” Part-owner Derek Graham, a prominent member of the Free Gaza Movement, asserted on Irish national radio that the aid vessel would not be turning back. The Mayo electrician, a veteran of several previous humanitarian missions to Gaza, said they were trying to break the blockade but denied they were supporters of Hamas or any other militant Palestinian group. Rather, his group was intent on helping people “blown out of it” by the Israelis during the war 18 months ago and who had since then been denied material for reconstruction. The ship also has six Malaysian activists and is sponsored by pro-Palestinian groups in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Malaysia. One of the Irish citizens on board is filmmaker Fiona Thompson and the Malaysian contingent includes a journalist and a television crew. Irish-Israeli relations are under severe strain over the seizure Monday of the six-vessel aid convoy in international waters, which resulted in the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian activists. Six Irish citizens were on board the flotilla and detained in Israel.  The Irish government has given its full support to the mission of the Rachel Corrie, named after an American activist killed in 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer when protesting against house demolitions in Gaza.  “We are in constant contact with the Israeli government on this matter," Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen told parliament in Dublin. The government “is advising absolute restraint in relation to the vessel as it goes about its humanitarian purpose.” Cowen cautioned, however, that Israel did not regard cement as a humanitarian cargo.  Ireland’s relations with Israel have been under a cloud since the use of forged Irish passports in the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January. The government is expected shortly to expel a security member of the Israeli embassy staff in Dublin over the affair.
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Τhe murdered from the Israel troops - Οι νεκροί από την Ισραηλινή επίθεση : >> 
Ibrahim Bilgen, 61 ετών, πατέρας έξι παιδιών, ηλεκτρολόγος μηχανικός από το Siirt.

Ali Haydar Bengi, 39 ετών, πατέρας τεσσάρων παιδιών, απόφοιτος του τμήματος Αραβικής λογοτεχνίας του πανεπιστημίου Al-Azhar του Καϊρου.

Cevdet Kiliçlar, 38 ετών, πατέρας δύο παιδιών, δημοσιογράφος που συμμετείχε σε πολλές ανθρωπιστικές αποστολές (Αφρική κ.τ.λ.)

Çetin Topçuoglu, 54 ετών, πατέρας ενός παιδιού, πρωταθλητής του taekwondo και προπονητής της εθνικής ομάδας taekwondo της Τουρκίας.

Necdet Yildirim, 32 ετών, πατέρας ενός παιδιού, εργαζόμενος σε ανθρωπιστικά προγράμματα.

Fahri Yaldiz, 43 ετών, πατέρας τεσσάρων παιδιών, πυροσβέστης.

Cengiz Songür, 47 ετών, πατέρας επτά παιδιών, δημοτικός υπάλληλος.

Cengiz Akyüz, 41 ετών, πατέρας τριών παιδιών, εργαζόμενος σε ανθρωπιστικά προγράμματα.

Furkan Dogan, 19 ετών, φοιτητής ιατρικής (διπλής υπηκοότητας, Αμερικανός και Τούρκος, γιατί γεννήθηκε στη Νέα Υόρκη).

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