Corncern for Irish as 15 killed as Israel attacks and hijacks Gaza Flotilla in Int’l Waters


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Update: Twitter is a very fast way of getting updates on the situation today. You can follow ILR updates based on what we’re seeing on our twitter page @irishleftreview.

Advise from Raymond Deane, if you want to do something about the Israeli attack on the Gaza Flotilla.

I’d say ring Foreign Affairs and demand action – the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador, the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the freezing of Israel’s entry into the OECD.

I’d also (I will also) ring the Turkish Embassy – commiserate with them on the loss of Turkish citizens – encourage them to end military cooperation with Israel and to suspend diplomatic relations.

And come to the demo at 6PM at the Spire!

Press release from IPSC released 31st May 2010 – 8.30am

Up to 15 international human rights activists have been killed and over 30 others injured after Israeli commandos attacked the unarmed Gaza Freedom Flotilla early this morning in international waters, according to reports from the flotilla organisers, while Israeli military sources confirmed 10 dead. This attack is a clear breach of international law.

No word has been received on the condition of the three Irish passengers as the satellite phone on the Challenger 1 on which they were passengers is uncontactable. The IPSC expresses its concern for these brave people we hope that they are safe.

Israel has imposed a gag order on reporting on the attack.

Live-streaming video showed images of Israeli commandoes descending from helicopters at around 4am this morning, and reports say that they proceeded to use live ammunition against the ships passengers. Video also showed casualties on the boat. The attack happened as the flotilla entered an arbitrarily imposed Israeli ‘military exclusion zone’ in international waters around Gaza, as the captain of the Turkish IHH ship the Mavi Marmara refused a military order to turn back.

Although reports remain unclear, with no line of communication to the boats, it appears that Israeli forces have now hijacked the flotilla and are some 30 miles away from the Israeli port of Ashdod where they will dock. The ships are due to reach the port in the next two hours. Other reports suggest that they may divert to the port of Haifa where there are no media. Upon arrival, the Israeli military have stated that all Israeli participants will be arrested, Palestinians will be questioned by Israeli secret police and internationals will be deported or held in a detention centre if they contest deportation.

On board the ship are hundreds of civilians – including parliamentarians – attempting to bring 10,000 tonnes of supplies and humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip which has been under an illegal Israeli-imposed siege for the past three years.

All the Palestinian factions were united in their condemnation, and the Palestinian Authority called it an act of piracy and declared a three-day state of mourning.

Mustafa Baraghout, an independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council called the attack “a declaration of war on many countries, including Turkey, Sweden and Ireland”.

Dr. David Landy, Chair of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said:

“This act of Israeli piracy is a clear breach of international law. The fact that Israel would allow its forces to kill and wound international human rights activists shows the world once again that Israeli is a rogue state that acts with impunity. It is high-time for this impunity to be ended and for Israeli to be brought to account for its disregard for international law.”
Dr. Landy continued: “Israel has claimed that it no longer occupies Gaza. If this is the case, then why did they prevent this humanitarian aid flotilla from reaching Gaza? The hypocrisy of the Israeli state is simply astounding, and it is time for the international community to take serious action against Israel. We demand justice both for those murdered today and the Palestinian people for whom such acts are, unfortunately, commonplace.”

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called a protest for this evening at 6pm, assembling at the Spire on O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 which will then march to the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge.

Speakers at the event will be Aengus O Snodaigh TD and Chris Andrews TD, both of whom were refused access to the flotilla by the Cypriot authorities after coming under severe pressure from Israel. The IPSC is calling on people in Ireland to show their outrage at this murderous attack against unarmed solidarity activists by coming out on the streets tomorrow.

Photos is of Israeli Commandoes boarding the IHH ship taken from al-Jazeera


4 Responses

  1. Felicity Arbuthnot

    May 31, 2010 10:21 am

    An act of piracy on the high seas. Israel’s Embassies globally should be closed, bank accounts frozen, the country embargoed and the Prime Minister and Defense Minister tried in at the ICC.

    The international is quick to take such action, as it did in the case of Iraq, is in the case of Iran and is silent in the case of the Mediaeval siege of Gaza – none of whom had flouted international law, the Law of the Seas in such a blatant manner.

    See also my which has quotes from a leading international law expert:

    :: Article nr. 66498 sent on 31-may-2010 06:45 ECT

  2. Pope Epopt

    May 31, 2010 1:40 pm

    Israeli military are imposing a complete clampdown on information while they fabricate evidence.

    We are going to be asked to be believe stuff like the following:

    A military statement said two activists were later found with pistols they had taken from Israeli commandos. The activists, the military said, had apparently opened fire “as evident by the empty pistol magazines.”

    Either Israeli commandos are shite or this is a classic “empty the magazine then put it in the other fellas hand” routine.

    From the New York Times. Predictably.

  3. Donagh

    May 31, 2010 2:23 pm

    I guess the rule of thumb is never believe anything said by IDF spokespeople. Its safer.

    The other line from The New York Times today is that this is good PR for Pro-Palestinian groups.

    However, this is not as bad as the current front page of the Haaretz website.

    @hughgreen on twitter tipped me on this…

  4. Mark C

    June 1, 2010 8:45 am

    A petition was set up yesterday to have the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland expelled (as a very first step towards proper punishment of Israel for this attack).

    It reads:

    We, the undersigned, call on the Irish government to expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, following the kilings of unarmed civilians by the Israeli navy.

    The civilians were part of an international peace flotilla that was attempting to sail to Gaza with much needed humanitarian assistance.

    We, the undersigned, believe this is an outrageous act, and that the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland must be just the first in a series of punishments against Israel for said act.

    The petition is available here.