State of Israel to appear before court in Paris for seizure of “French boat for Gaza”
"French boat for Gaza" campaign
The State of Israel has been summoned to appear before the first division of the Regional Court of Paris on Wednesday, March 13 2013, at 2:30 pm, to answer to the charge of having boarded in international waters, in July 2011, the vessel “Dignité Al Karama”, sailing as part of the campaign “A French Boat For Gaza”, and for the detention of the vessel in an Israeli port.
Paris, March 7, 2013
The “Dignité Al Karama”, a pleasure craft flying the French flag, with 16 civilians on board, was the only vessel from the Freedom Flotilla II to succeed in evading the navigation ban imposed by Greek authorities under Israeli pressure, and to attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. On July 19, 2011, this boat was attacked and boarded, in international waters, and its passengers imprisoned, by Israeli naval forces, in defiance of international law governing the freedom of maritime movement and of the Law of the Sea. Since then the boat has been detained in an Israeli port.
The State of Israel cites State immunity, and claims its actions were carried out as part of its police powers. It is unfathomable that in terms of law, a State would take it upon itself to act according to its "own interests" outside of its land, air and sea borders, and then refuse to return a vessel in the condition in which it was captured. This would negate any rule under international law, maritime law, and would be an obvious breach of article 2.4 of the United Nations charter, by which the State of Israel, like any State member of the United Nations, must abide.
In these circumstances, one can only be outraged at the stance on this matter taken by the French public prosecutor, who in their conclusions deem the act of piracy of the State of Israel to be legitimate. If we were to follow them, there is no law anymore, no international rules and each State has the power to do what it wants.
The State of Israel, like any State, cannot act in violation of the law, as it pleases, wherever and whenever it wishes. The State of Israel must be sanctioned. There are rules, those of international law: the French justice system must enforce them.
“A French Boat for Gaza” campaign.
We invite everyone to attend the hearing on Wednesday March 13, 2:30 pm, at the first division courtroom of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris.
Signatures from the National Group for a Just and Lasting Peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and from the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine.