fondo
004-departure-Rachel
  |   press release   |   No comment

Statement from the FFC re. Freedom Flotilla III

The plan for Freedom Flotilla III was to have three boats challenging the blockade and two accompanying/supporting boats. Of the three, the Marianne was on its way from Sweden since May while the Juliano was being prepared in Corfu and the Agios Nikolaos was being prepared in Athens, to start moving in June. All repairs and inspections were made and the two boats were ready to sail. As the Juliano started to move from Corfu to meet the Marianne south of Crete, the captain realized that there were vibrations in its propeller shafts and had to return to port, after a situation where the boat almost sunk. Upon inspection abnormal bends were discovered in both propeller shafts, a sign that the boat might have been subjected to sabotage. The third boat, the Agios Nikolaos, faced technical difficulties while sailing from the mainland to Crete as well. After repair, administrative obstacles combined with extraordinary political situation in Greece during that last period, delayed Agios Nikolaos' departure, despite the positive intervention by Greece’s Ministry of Marine Central Administration, until it was too late to catch up with the other boats. Due to these circumstances, in a short time we had a very different number of places for the 68 international delegates from 20...

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06 August
0
next_stop_gaza
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Freedom Flotilla Coalition makes a call to restore the international law

Israel has not only taken over the sky, borders and Palestinian territorial waters, but has also extended its blockade in the Mediterranean Sea up to 100 nautical miles, violating international and maritime law. During the operation of hijacking  "Marianne" Israeli soldiers used violence, threats  and abuse against crew and passengers. The IDF referred to the operation as “uneventful” which can only be understood in the light of the levels of violence used in general in the upholding of the blockade and particularily in the routine hijacking of Palestinian fishing vessels. As always, the Freedom Flotilla sails to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip. This year Freedom Flotilla III applied a slightly different strategy than previous missions. The Flotilla consisted of four ships, one of which would sail towards Gaza and three more to accompany it to a certain safe point and then return back to their ports of origin. Two more ships were being prepared to sail together with the “Marianne” and carry more sailors.  They didn’t make it, however, due to technical issues that are currently being investigated. Their sailors, unfortunately, had to stay on shore, but their message of solidarity travelled with the rest of the Flotilla to the...

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08 July
0
annwright
  |   press release   |   No comment

The detained Swedes will be deported during Sunday and Monday

At 3PM this afternoon Ship to Gazas lawyer informed that they have reached an agreement regarding the deportation of the remaining Swedish captives from the Israeli hijack of the trawler Marianne av Göteborg. The six pearsons are Able Seaman Charlie Andreasson Mate Gustav Bergström, Journalist and Author Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Composer and Musician Dror Feiler, Chef Jonas Kårlin, Captain Joel Opperdoes, They will be deported in three rounds of two persons each time during this coming Sunday and Monday. We have, at the moment no clear information on flight times. This will be presented in forthcoming press releases. ...

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02 July
0
IMG_20150629_015716
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Three released tomorrow (02/07), Kevorkova and all Swedes retained

Ship to Gaza’s Israeli lawyer Gabi Lasky informed about 4PM today (01/07) that additionally three of those detained when the fishing trawler Marianne of Gothenburg was hijacked on international waters, will be deported early tomorrow morning. This concerns Norwegian mate Herman Recksten and the two Canadian citizens, activist Bob Lovelace and machinist Kevin Niesh. They have already been transferred from the Givon-prison to custody at Ben Gurion airport. Remaining in prison are currently the Russian journalist Nadya Kevorkova (RT-television) and the six Swedes: able-seaman Charlie Andreason, mate Gustav Bergström, journalist and writer Kajsa Ekis Ekman, activist and musician Dror Feiler, ship’s cook Jonas Kårlin and captain Joel Opperdoes. The detained are divided into two sections where Ekman and Kevorkova are separated from the rest. Israeli authority has previously pronounced that these people would be deported in turns during Thursday and Friday. According to Lasky the activists will oppose the deportation until they will be deported as a group. At previous actions the activists made similar standpoints as they didn’t want to leave anyone behind or in smaller groups, in care of these activists security and wellbeing. ...

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01 July
0
videoonboard
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Press Release: “Marianne” sailors still imprisoned in Israel

It has been more than 50 hours since Israeli navy attacked the “Marianne” in international waters, 100nm from Gaza, during one of its usual acts of State piracy, always behaving as the bullying state of eastern Mediterranean. 18 participants on board were kidnapped and brought by force and against their will to the military Ashdod port. During the operation of seizure of the “Marianne”, which IDF called “uneventful”, Israeli soldiers used violence against participants on board. Dr. Bassel Ghattas (Member of Knesset), Dr. Moncef Marzouki (ex-President of Tunisia), Ana Miranda (Member of European Parliament) and Ohad Hemo (Channel 2 journalist), were released and the rest were moved to Givon prison at Ramla area, where they remain hostages until this moment. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition stands with all sailors of the “Marianne” who are illegaly kept in the Israeli prison. We demand that the State of Israel immediately releases them and also returns the “Marianne of Gothenberg”. We demand that our governments condemn violence of the State of Israel against peaceful citizens and stand by the rights of the Palestinian people. The remaining “Marianne” passengers still in Israeli prison are:   Nadya Kevorkova Russia Kajsa Ekis Ekman Sweden Robert Lovelace Canada Joel Opperdoes Sweden Gustave Bergstrom Sweden Herman Reksten Norway Kevin Neish Canada Jonas Karlin Sweden CharlieAndreasson Sweden Ammar Al-Hamdan Norway Mohammed El Bakkali Morocco Dror Feiler Sweden Ruwani Perera New...

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01 July
0
IMG_20150629_015716
  |   press release   |   5 Comments

Israel once again commits an act of state piracy in the Mediterranean

At 02:06AM today (Gaza time) the “Marianne” contacted Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) and informed us that three boats of the Israeli navy had surrounded her in international waters, while sailing approximately 100NM from Gaza coast. After that we lost contact with the “Marianne” and at 05:11AM (Gaza time) the IDF announced that they had “visited and searched” Marianne. They had captured the boat and detained all on board “in international waters” as they admitted themselves. The only positive content in the IDF announcement was that they still recognize that there is a naval blockade of Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s government recent denial that one exists. We have no reason to believe that Marianne’s capture was “uneventful”, because the last time the IDF said something like that, in 2012, the people on board the “Estelle” were badly tasered and beaten with clubs. Back in 2010, ten passengers of Mavi Marmara were murdered by the IDF during a similar operation in international waters. It is disappointing that the Israeli government chose to continue the absolutely fruitless policy of “no tolerance”, meaning it will continue to enforce an inhumane and illegal collective punishment against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. Israel's repeated acts of state piracy in...

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29 June
11
freedomflotilla_portugal_arrival_pablo_miranzo-2
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Freedom Flotilla III: Marianne approaches Gaza, sailing boats return back

According to Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s latest contact with the “Marianne” at 2AM (Gaza time), the boat is aproximately 105 nautical miles and continues on its course towards the Palestinian territorial waters and the port of Gaza. It is expected to reach its destination during the next 24 hours.   As the “Marianne” enters the final segment of its trip, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to reveal its strategy. At this moment the three sailing boats accompanying and supporting the “Marianne” (“Rachel”, “Vittorio” and “Juliano II”) are changing their course and will be heading back to their ports of origin.  Political representatives, journallists, peace activists on board, a total number of 29 sailors, have assisted the Marianne and its people towards their long and difficult journey, which has always remained to end the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza.   We demand that our respective governments act with humanity and to ensure the safety of all of the delegates on board the “Marianne”. We call once again on the government of Israel to finally lift the blockade on Gaza and let the peaceful ship, the “Marianne”, reach its destination in order to deliver its cargo of dignity and hope. We urge all international organizations...

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29 June
8
sailors
  |   press release   |   2 Comments

Freedom Flotilla III : 47 Participants on Four Boats Sailing Now

Freedom Flotilla III, consisting of four boats, the converted fishing trawler "Marianne of Gothenburg" and the supporting sailing vessels “Rachel”, “Vittorio” and “Juliano II”, carrying 47 people from 17 countries, has been sailing since Saturday morning (Gaza time) to challenge the blockade of 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Our primary goal is to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza and to call on opening the port of Gaza, the port of Palestine to the world.   Three sailing vessels are accompanying the Marianne, her freedom sailors and cargo on her way to Gaza. Their names (Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II) were given in memory of peace activists Rachel Corrie, Vittorio Arrigoni and Juliano Mer-Khamis, while Juliano II also recalls the Juliano, another boat that was about to leave port but had to stay, due to technical reasons. It is not yet clear whether this boat has been sabotaged, as happened in 2011, and this suspicious case is still under investigation.   While the Flotilla bears much-needed aid, our main cargo is, as always, human solidarity and non-violent direct action for the respect of human rights.   Since Saturday, the Marianne has been under surveillance by what crew described as military vessels and...

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28 June
12
annwright
  |   news   |   5 Comments

Why I Am On Gaza Freedom Flotilla 3 | By Ann Wright

I served 29 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a Colonel. I was also a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.   In my 2003 letter of resignation from the U.S. government in opposition to U.S. President Bush’s war on Iraq, I cited the “continuing unbalanced policies of the United States in Israeli-Palestinian issues” as one of my major concerns on U.S. foreign policy. I had had an assignment in the Middle East. My first experience in Palestine was in January 2009 when I travelled to Gaza and saw the brutal destruction of much of Gaza by the Israeli attack and the deaths of over 1400 persons. Afterwards, I helped organize 5 delegations to Gaza in 2009, including the Gaza Freedom March with 1300 participants from 30 countries. I returned to Gaza in 2011 as a part of an international parliamentary delegation and again in 2012 after the Israeli attack on Gaza. I was a passenger on the Challenger 1 boat in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla in which the Israeli commandos executed 9 persons on the Mavi Marmara (a 10th person has now died...

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28 June
3
gaza-fisherman-attacked-by-israelis
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Palestinian and Jewish Organizations and activists in Israel welcome the Freedom Flotilla and call to end the siege on Gaza

We, Palestinian and Jewish organizations and activists in Israel, oppose the Israeli policy of ongoing human rights violations, a policy that seeks to maintain its control through the siege that is strangulating the Palestinian people. The siege undermines the development of an independent economy and keeps Gazans under occupation, dependent on Israel for their most basic humanitarian needs. We support the struggle to end the occupation in the Palestinian territories, as well as the besieged Gaza strip. We support international solidarity, including the Gaza flotilla. We are concerned with the humanitarian condition in the Gaza strip, which is under a harsh siege since 2007. In Gaza, more than 70% of the population relies on humanitarian aid; On the eve of “Protective Edge” military attack on Gaza, 57% of the population suffered from food insecurity; The unemployment rate was 42.8% in the 4th quarter of 2014 (compared to 18.7% in 2000); 27 government schools in Gaza were heavily damaged or destroyed during the bombing this summer ; Even before the military operation, the Strip was short over 200 schools, including 150 government schools; Classes are usually taught in two shifts; Israel doesn’t allow the building of a port in Gaza and places...

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28 June
3