Tag Archives: Freedom Flotilla

Sweden to investigate Israel’s attacks on Gaza-bound ships

Israel has attacked several Gaza-bound ships over the last few years. Swedish prosecutor Henrik Attorps has launched an investigation into suspected criminal offenses ranging from aggravated assault, aggravated unlawful threats, theft, and other crimes under international law.  "We have grounds to believe that such crimes were committed," the office of the public prosecutor said in a statement.  More details here.

Sweden probes Ship to Gaza boardings

A Swedish prosecutor has launched an investigation into whether international laws were broken when Israeli soldiers boarded Gaza-bound ships operated by the Sweden-based activist group Ship to Gaza.

The Mavi Marmara: Israel, Turkey and Justice

by Greta Berlin and Audrey Bomse

Four years ago, Israeli commandos attacked the MaviMarmara and five other ships in the Freedom Flotilla, in international waters, while they were heading to Gaza. The Flotilla, which Free Gaza helped organize along with the Turkish charity, IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, was determined to break the blockade of Gaza and bring humanitarian aid to the people there. Eight Turks and one American were killed on board the Comoros-flagged Mavi Marmara ( a tenth man recently died from his wounds) and many others on all the ships were injured, some seriously.

Interview with Col. Ann Wright on Gaza Flotilla Raid and Israel’s Immunity

Published on Jun 4, 2013

Abby Martin takes a look at the Gaza flotilla siege three years later with an interview with retired US Army Colonel, Ann Wright, who was on board one of the ships when siege occurred. Wright talks about the trial, Israeli immunity from prosecution, and her experience during the attack.

Shut In, Shut Down, Shut Up: Three Years after Mavi Marmara

20 May 2013
Passengers on the Mavi Marmara were attacked by heavily armed Israeli commandos.
Passengers on the Mavi Marmara were attacked by heavily armed Israeli commandos.

By Greta Berlin

Three years ago, the Free Gaza movement was wrapping up final preparations for a flotilla of eight ships to head out to Gaza, determined to break Israel’s illegal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians shut into an open-air prison. Most of us were already in Cyprus or Turkey or Greece, as we were the primary organizers, having already sent eight voyages, five of them successful in 2008.

Why a flotilla of boats?

An Israeli Apology Means Little to the Families of the Nine Passengers Murdered on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

The Families of the Nine Passengers Murdered on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Demand That the Israeli Blockade of Gaza Be Lifted

By Ann Wright

Representatives of IHH, the international humanitarian organization that organized the passengers on the Mavi Marmara in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, have told the author that families of the nine murdered by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) commandos on May 31, 2010, consider the “apology” of the Israeli government to the Turkish government as meaning very little until the Israeli government lifts the blockade on Gaza.

US investigated Gaza flotilla passengers for terror ties but not Israel’s slaying of citizen, new docs show


Nine passengers killed by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara were commemorated during a June 2010 ceremony in Gaza City.

 (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Recently-released US government documents related to Israel’s deadly May 2010 raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla shed new light on the extent to which the US disregarded the rights and safety of US citizens participating in the humanitarian mission to the besieged Gaza Strip — and the lengths to which it shielded Israel from accountability.

Meet Jim’s Estelle crew member: Marco Ramazzotti Stockel


Press Release

Freedom Flotilla Italy, 17 October 2012

Marco Ramazzotti Stockel – 65, Italian, is married and has two children. His second surname is very important for him: “Write it, please, so they understand I am Jewish and that if I fight against the occupation it is for the Jews themselves, because the occupation harms them and not only the Palestinians”.

“I grew up in a Muslim country.  I have lived and worked in twelve Muslim countries.  The Muslim world is close to my heart.  Arab people are my brothers.  It is unconceivable for me that a Jew could ever imagine that her or his safety – from persecution, Shoah, pogroms – could ever come from using violence against another people. The Palestinian people are victims of violence”.

Marco Ramazzotti has over 35 years of experience in development aid, as a legal anthropologist and socio-economist, and project manager and NGO representative. He has worked in twenty-six developing countries for Italian and international NGOs, international consulting companies, the EU and several UN agencies (FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP), and Italian Development Cooperation. He has been advisor to an African government  and, most recently, has organised and taught in security courses for NGOs, religious missions and companies working abroad.  He holds a degree in international law and is a Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge, UK.

“Israel follows only the rules made by itself, it does not respect international law, nor does it abide by international moral standards, because it has imposed upon the Palestinians a regime of apartheid” – Marco says –  “So other Jews need to say: ‘Government of Israel, you have undertaken a political course of action that is extremely dangerous (…….) but if we struggle and try to work with the Arabs, with Muslims, we will in fact be protecting and defending the Jewish people –  we protect them because we remember, as Jews, that we also have been persecuted. The only way we can prevent persecution is to extend our hand to our enemy:  it will not be weapons that protect us’.

He has a political past in the Italian Communist Party and was a member of the major Italian trade union, CGIL. Since the year 2000, he has been a member of ECO (Ebrei contro l’Ocupazione, Jews against Occupation) and of EJSP, European Jews for a Just Peace. He joined the Freedom Flottilla for Gaza in Athens in 2010, with the French group.

A life of diverse interests and a life-long commitment to fighting poverty and under-development, an unswerving dedication to justice and peace.

“As a Jew, it is my dream to go to Gaza to testify that we are brothers, and that Israel needs to find other means – which are not military means – to solve the conflict between the two people”.

Marco represents Italy on board the Estelle, Freedom Flotilla, en route for Gaza.

Video interview recorded before departure http://youtu.be/E3ZF0o4mY1g


Media: ‘Peaceful’ Swedish flotilla sets sail to Gaza Strip




10/07/2012 13:25

The Estelle leaves from Italy carrying human rights activists, humanitarian aid in an attempt to break Israel’s Gaza blockade.

The Estelle. Photo: Screenshot

A Swedish ship carrying human rights activists left from Italy to attempt to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza on Saturday.

“Leaving Italy on the ship, Estelle, will be 15 to 17 people. It sends a message of nonviolence,” said Mattias Gardell, a spokesperson for the group.

The Estelle, carrying 17 activists from countries including Canada, Norway, Sweden, Israel and the United States, left from the port at Naples, Italy on Saturday. The vessel, which measures 173 feet long, reportedly is carrying humanitarian goods.

One year after Greece stopped Freedom Flotilla

The struggle to end Gaza blockade continues



The five delegates on the Tahrir who were apprehended in international waters and jailed in an Israeli prison

One year after the Greek government bowed to pressure and enforced he outsourced Israeli blockade of Gaza, the international movement to challenge the blockade is still very much afloat: we may change our tactics, but not our objectives. Our new campaign to challenge the blockade from the inside out emphasizes the fundamental importance of freedom of movement for Palestinians.

On July 4, 2011, the Canadian boat Tahrir left the port of Aghios Nikolaos (in Crete, Greece) bound for Gaza. After days of waiting for official clearance in the face of increasing bureaucratic and political obstacles, we decided to defy a Greek government ban on Freedom Flotilla departures and simply cast off. There were more than 40 people on board the Tahrir: a wide range of delegates from Australia, Belgium, Denmark and Canada as well as journalists from various countries. Our Greek captain and crew had been replaced for the occasion by volunteers — we were lucky to have among us delegates with professional maritime experience, from engineer to ship’s officers.