ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

June 30, 2009

2009.06.30: Urgent Action: Israel Attacks Humanitarian Boat, Kidnaps HR Workers, Confiscates Medical Aid

Filed under: International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 11:38 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 11:38 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Urgent Action: Israel Attacks Humanitarian Boat, Kidnaps HR Workers, Confiscates Medical Aid

[Please forward widely; What you can do below**]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30 June 2009

ISRAEL ATTACKS JUSTICE BOAT; KIDNAPS HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS; CONFISCATES
MEDICINE, TOYS AND OLIVE TREES

For more information contact:
Greta Berlin (English)
tel: +357 99 081 767 / friends@freegaza.org

Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
tel: +357 99 077 820 / sahara78@hotmail.co.uk
http://www.FreeGaza.org

[23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] – Today Israeli Occupation
Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF
HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries,
including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers).

The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our
boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission
to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman
and presidential candidate.

“President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction
supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the
international community to demand our release so we can resume our
journey.”

According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report
released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in
despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier
during Israel’s December/January massacre are still without shelter
despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses
to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip.

The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs
of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.

“The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza,
hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to
transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools,
hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of
“Cast Lead”. Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we
stand by them and that they are not alone” said fellow passenger
Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in
Northern Ireland.

Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza
Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this voyage,
stated that: “No one could possibly believe that our small boat
constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and
reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Our passengers include a
Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat
was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port
Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach
Israeli waters.”

Arraf continued, “Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on our
unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand
our immediate and unconditional release.”

###

**WHAT YOU CAN DO!

CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Justice
tel: +972 2646 6666 or +972 2646 6340
fax: +972 2646 6357

CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
tel: +972 2530 3111
fax: +972 2530 3367

CONTACT Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s office at:
tel: +972 5 0620 3264 or +972 2670 5354
mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

CONTACT the International Committee of the Red Cross to ask for their
assistance in establishing the wellbeing of the kidnapped human rights
workers and help in securing their immediate release!

Red Cross Israel
tel: +972 3524 5286
fax: +972 3527 0370
tel_aviv.tel@icrc.org

Red Cross Switzerland:
tel: +41 22 730 3443
fax: +41 22 734 8280

Red Cross USA:
tel: +1 212 599 6021
fax: +1 212 599 6009
###

Kidnapped Passengers from the Spirit of Humanity include:

Khalad Abdelkader, Bahrain
Khalad is an engineer representing the Islamic Charitable Association
of Bahrain.

Othman Abufalah, Jordan
Othman is a world-renowned journalist with al-Jazeera TV.

Khaled Al-Shenoo, Bahrain
Khaled is a lecturer with the University of Bahrain.

Mansour Al-Abi, Yemen
Mansour is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera TV.

Fatima Al-Attawi, Bahrain
Fatima is a relief=2 0worker and community activist from Bahrain.

Juhaina Alqaed, Bahrain
Juhaina is a journalist & human rights activist.

Huwaida Arraf, US
Huwaida is the Chair of the Free Gaza Movement and delegation
co-coordinator for this voyage.

Ishmahil Blagrove, UK
Ishmahil is a Jamaican-born journalist, documentary film maker and
founder of the Rice & Peas film production company. His documentaries
focus on international struggles for social justice.

Kaltham Ghloom, Bahrain
Kaltham is a community activist.

Derek Graham, Ireland
Derek Graham is an electrician, Free Gaza organizer, and first mate
aboard the Spirit of Humanity.

Alex Harrison, UK
Alex is a solidarity worker from Britain. She is traveling to Gaza to
do long-term human rights monitoring.

Denis Healey, UK
Denis is Captain of the Spirit of Humanity. This will be his fifth
voyage to Gaza.

Fathi Jaouadi, UK
Fathi is a British journalist, Free Gaza organizer, and delegation
co-coordinator for this voyage.

Mairead Maguire, Ireland
Mairead is a Nobel laureate and renowned peace activist.

Lubna Masarwa, Palestine/Israel
Lubna is a Palestinian human rights activist and Free Gaza organizer.

Theresa McDermott, Scotland
Theresa is a solidarity worker from Scotland. She is traveling to Gaza
to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Cynthia McKinney, US
Cynthia McKinney is an outspoken advocate for human rights and social
justice issues, as well as a former U.S. congressperson and
presidential candidate.

Adnan Mormesh, UK
Adnan is a solidarity worker from Britain. He is traveling to Gaza to
do long-term human rights monitoring.

Adam Qvist, Denmark
Adam is a solidarity worker from Denmark. He is traveling to Gaza to
do human rights monitoring.

Adam Shapiro, US
Adam is an American documentary film maker and human rights activist.

Kathy Sheetz, US
Kathy is a nurse and film maker, traveling to Gaza to do human rights
monitoring.

###

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