Tag Archives: Freedom Flotilla Coalition

The truth comes out about Israel’s ‘uneventful’ piracy

2 Jul

Video that shows the violence used by Israeli commandos during the hi-jacking of ‘Mariane’ boat of Freedom Flotilla III on Monday. The footage shows Israeli Arab parliament member Basel Ghattas addressing the commandos with a loudhailer, former Tunisian president Dr Moncef Marzouki, and a flotilla crew being repeatedly tasered. Video from ReshetTV Israel. (Warning: footage may be disturbing.)

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer  Common Dream 1 June 2015

Rejecting Israeli Narrative, Freedom Flotilla Campaigners Say Tasers Were Part of Violent Assault on Ship

At least nine people from Sweden, Norway, and Canada remain in Israeli custody. Kiwi journalists have been released.

Directly contradicting initial reports from the Israeli Navy that the boarding of a Swedish vessel traveling to break the blockade of Gaza was an “uneventful” incident, campaigners reported Tuesday that several people on board, in fact, were violently treated and shot with tasers.

“At least four people were tasered and one was lightly wounded,” Loukas Stamellos, spokesperson for the global Freedom Flotilla Coalition, told Common Dreams over the phone from Athens, Greece. “We were questioning the military’s narrative before, but now we know at least some people were hurt and there was violence during the interception.”

The [above] video, just released by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, shows Swedish peace sailor Charlie Andreasson being tasered multiple times by an Israeli combatant, explained David Heap, spokesperson for the coalition. (Warning: footage may be disturbing.)

Basil Ghattas, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset who was on the Marianne,  confirmed to the Middle East Eye that the Israeli military’s takeover of the ship was indeed violent.

Staffan Granér, spokesperson for Ship to Gaza–Sweden, emphasized to Common Dreams: “It’s important to document the violence our activists suffer, but it is also really important to realize that this violence and these crimes are something that happens every day and every week in these waters to fishermen from Gaza.”

At least nine people from the international crew remain in Israeli custody after their ship was seized early Monday morning roughly 100 nautical miles from Gaza. A total of 18 people from around the world were on the vessel, and those who are not currently detained have been deported.

Campaigners argue that Israel’s seizure of the vessel—named Marianne of Gothernburg—in itself constitutes piracy and kidnapping, as the boat was in international waters.

Swedish officials echoed this argument. Veronica Nordlund, speaking on behalf of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, stated on Tuesday: “Granted the information we have been given, the Israeli navy intervention took place in international waters. According to law it’s only the flag state, in this case Sweden, who is allowed to act against another ship in international waters. Sweden has expressed their opinion on the event to Israel.”

The Marianne was sailing alongside three supporting vessels—Rachel, Vittorio, and Juliano II. Altogether the boats carried 47 people from 17 countries under the banner of “Freedom Flotilla III.”

Israel has a bloody history of attacking such vessels, including the 2010 assault on the Mavi Marmara ship sailing from Turkey that killed nine people and wounded dozens.

Despite the risks, global campaigners continue to sail in a symbolic show of solidarity and resistance to the blockade, which is politically and financially backed by the United States and enabled by the direct participation of Egypt.

The three supporting vessels in Freedom Flotilla III turned back to the Greek ports they embarked from following the Israeli military’s seizure of the Marianne. But global campaigners say they are already setting their sights on the next voyage.

Ehab Lotayef, a Montreal-based engineer and writer, is aboard one of the supporting boats in the Freedom Flotilla III that is currently en route to Greece. He passed along the message to Common Dreams: “We are proud of everyone who participated in Freedom Flotilla III, whatever their role. Now we are focusing on future flotilla to continue to challenge the blockade of Gaza until it ends completely and Palestinians regain their full rights.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License


Freedom Flotilla promises: ‘We will sail again’

30 Jun

gaza_4 Image from the deck of the Marianne of Gothenburg ship, which was captured by the Israeli Navy overnight (Monday). (Photo courtesy of Freedom Flotilla Coalition)

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Common Dreams, 29 June 2015

After Freedom Flotilla Kidnapped by Israeli Navy, Global Campaign Vows to Sail Again

A freedom flotilla sailing to break the blockade of Gaza was captured early Monday morning by the Israeli navy and the 18 journalists, campaigners, and crew aboard are currently in the occupying army’s custody, in an attack global supporters are calling piracy and kidnapping at high sea.

Continue reading

Ex-president of Tunisia will sail with the Freedom Flotilla

28 May
tunisia-president-moncef-marzoukr_0Former Tunisian president Dr. Moncef Marzouki

When Freedom Flotilla III sets sail for Gaza next month, former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki affirms that he will be on board, along with delegations from up to 20 countires.

Statement from the Freedom Flotilla Coalition:

Representatives of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) and partner organizations traveled to Tunis (recently) where they participated in the World Social Forum.  During the WSF they met with several Palestinian and Tunisian civil society organizations.

FFC representatives were also received by Dr. Moncef Marzouki, former President of Tunisia and renowned Human Rights defender.  During the meeting Dr. Marzouki gave FFC his full support and confirmed that he will be on board of one of Freedom Flotilla III ships.

The week was concluded with an internal FFC and partners meeting during which the FFC points of unity were reconfirmed. The group agreed that FF3 will sail with at least three ships.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is more critical than ever and is worsening by the day. Media apathy and inaction by most governments puts the burden on civil society organizations, as ourselves, to take the lead in challenging the Israeli blockade. Our flotillas will continue to sail until the illegal blockade of Gaza is permanently lifted.  [End of statement. Slightly abridged]

Kia Ora Gaza has been invited to send a Kiwi delegation to join the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza next month. Please donate to our appeal here, and send a message of support. – Kia Ora Gaza

%d bloggers like this: