The solidarity mission is scheduled for the summer of 2020, and, like most of the 35 previous attempts, the Flotilla is likely to be intercepted by the Israeli navy. What is Gaza to us but an Israeli missile, a rudimentary rocket, a demolished home, an injured child being whisked away by his peers under a hail of bullets? On a daily basis, Gaza is conveyed to us as a bloody image or a dramatic video, none of which can truly capture the everyday reality of the Strip – its formidable steadfastness, the everyday acts of resistance, and the type of suffering that can never be really understood through a customary glance at a social media post.
Jehad Abusalim, a Palestinian now living in the United States, grew up in Gaza. Last week, while addressing Chicago activists committed to ending Israeli attacks and blockades in the region, he held up a list of the names of 1,254 Palestinians living in Gaza killed in just one month of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” attacks five years ago. US Boat to Gaza is a coalition of organizations and grassroots campaigners seeking an end to Israel's naval blockade. “I felt shaky and uneasy all day preparing for this talk,” he told the group.
Our Israeli attorney, Gaby Lasky has been in contact with Israeli Occupation authorities to arrange delivery of the humanitarian medical supplies, but to date none have arrived in Gaza. Full inventories of the medical supplies in each box have been provided previously and can be produced on request. We urge concerned citizens around the world to call your Foreign Ministry** and the Israeli Embassy (if there is one) in your respective country to demand that the Israeli Government immediately releases the 114 boxes of medical supplies to Gaza, as required by international law.
“If we were Palestinians it would be much worse with physical assaults and probably loss of lives. The situation is therefore dire for the Palestinians.” Founding trustee of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) Dr Swee Ang was on board the Al-Awda boat sailing to break the illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip when occupation forces commandeered the vessel. In a personal testimony Ang outlines the violent treatment the unarmed activists received at the hands of heavily armed Israeli soldiers in international waters. After boarding Al-Awda, occupation forces were “twisting the arms of the participants”, “lifting” and “throwing” others out of their way and tasering those they could not manhandle, Ang explained. Al-Awda was taken over by Israeli forces on 29 July, after it was surrounded by them and had its crew detained.
Gaza Flotilla Ship Al Awda Violently Seized By Israelis, USS Liberty Survivor Amongst Those Captured
Israeli soldiers in international waters boarded the Al Awda ship headed to Gaza to deliver relief supplies on Sunday, detaining everyone on board, including a USS Liberty survivor, after beating and tasering some passengers, according to an eyewitness account. Only two of the 22 passengers on the ship have been released, with the rest being held in Givon prison in Israel, the flotilla’s organizers said on Monday. One of those released, Zohar Chamberlain Regev, an Israeli citizen, contested an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) statement that the ship had been captured “without exceptional incident.” “People on board were tasered and hit by masked IOF soldiers. We did not get our passports or belongings before we got off the boat. Do not believe reports of peaceful interception,” Regev said in a statement to the organizers, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. Regev referred to the IDF derogatorily as the Israeli Occupation Force.
Four boats from the ‘Right to a Just Future for Palestine’ Freedom Flotilla Coalition are scheduled to leave Palermo, Sicily, to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza, and to assert the Palestinian people’s right to freedom of movement and their right to a just future. As we mark 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, we recall his words on his release from prison in 1990: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” As always, our boats carry representatives from across the world and messages of love and solidarity for those living under the inhumane, decade-old blockade – the collective punishment on the civilian Palestinian population of Gaza. Given the dire situation in Palestinian hospitals, we are also transporting some urgently needed medical supplies (#Gauze4Gaza).
A survivor of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 U.S. sailors has joined the Freedom Flotilla headed towards Gaza, as Joe Lauria reports. Joe Meadors, a survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, has joined the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla as the delegate from the United States. He will board the Al Awda (The Return), which left Corisca Sunday night for the final 1,000 miles to Gaza. Al Awda is one of four boats on the 75-day voyage from Scandinavia. Meadors was a signalman on the bridge of the USS Liberty, a surveillance vessel operating in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israreli war. Israeli war planes and torpedo boats attacked the vessel, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding 174 crew members.