Tag Archives: Ship to Gaza
Release 17 October 2012
Ship to Gaza Sweden
Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor has sent a letter calling on the UN and other representatives of the international community to stop the Ship to Gaza sailing vessel Estelle from reaching its destination. If this means that Israel has decided to leave control over Palestinian territorial waters to the UN it is a fall forward.
The UN and many other representatives of the international community have for years characterized the siege of the Gaza Strip as inhuman and incompatible with international law.
Ship to Gaza Sweden assumes that that UN will not take over the implementation of this policy by preventing a peaceful vessel from delivering humanitarian supplies.
Ship to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla have never opposed lawful inspections of cargo and vessel from representatives of the UN, or from national authorities in the ports and waters we have passed through and we welcome further inspections of this kind from the UN when we have anchored in Gaza City. What we refuse to accept is something which also the UN and the majority of the international community oppose: the illegal and, in a humanitarian perspective, devastating siege of the Gaza strip.
“Lawfare” against Estelle
Israel’s policy of siege against Gaza is not conducted solely by military means. Diplomats, lawyers and IT-
specialists are also mobilised. This is not something the government keeps secret. On the contrary, these acts of pressure on other governments to stop or discourage their citizens to take part in the Flotilla actions are sometimes publicly announced. Pressure has these last weeks been directed towards port authorities in Alicante, Barcelona, La Spezia and Naples. In contrast to their Greek colleagues last summer, they did not give in. Thanks to local politicians and civil servants with integrity and a sense of justice Estelle could, after thorough inspections, sail on.Another example of attempts to stop Ship to Gaza happened On the 27th of September, when our marine insurance company received threats from Shurat HaDin, an Israeli “Law Center”. They claimed, without any documentation of any sort to underpin this, that the Flotilla actions is aiming to smuggle weapons to Gaza, and is pursued in support of Hamas. Shurat HaDin accuses and threatenes not only the marine insurance company but also its re-insurers of being financers of terrorism. Shurat HaDin also congratulates themselves to previous pressuring on the maritime insurance industry and thus contributing to the obstruction and partial detention of the Freedom Flotilla in Greek ports in 2011, as well as filing law suits against former American President Jimmy Carter.
Ship to Gaza and Freedom Flotilla Coalition has obviously neither the possibility nor the will to measure up to these combined forces available to our opponents, when it comes to force, diplomats, legal expertise and IT-specialists jamming homepages, phone- and radio communication. And we have no ambition to compete in these areas. We are, as a civil society action, pursuing a just cause with peaceful means.
Sign the following petition here.
This summer, the intensified blockade of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip has continued into its sixth year. The blockade—referred to as “the siege” by its victims—is a violation of international law and of the fundamental human rights of the civilian population in Gaza. The blockade has devastating humanitarian consequences for more than 1.6 million people, most of them children, on this coastal strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the Negev desert.
This message was received via Twitter:
The other day, Estelle was visited by a documentary filmmaker who makes components for Al Jazeera. Element, which reportedly have already been shipped, you can see here. Watch this video of the sip and the people on it. It helps if you understand Arabic: http://vimeo.com/46683790
Gaza’s Ark is outraged by the attack on Dror Feiler and strongly condemns the use of violence against peaceful human rights activists.
Dror Feiler, a spokesman for Ship to Gaza, was attacked by unknown assailants on Friday night when he was on his way to the organization’s ship, Estelle, which is currently docked at Erikbergskaj in Gothenburg. The man or men attacked Feiler from behind, knocked him to the ground and kicked him several times before they left the scene. Feiler was able to get himself to Estelle, and then to a doctor, who found that no fractures had resulted from the assault.
Dror Feiler reported the assault to the police on Friday. He says in his statement about the incident:
“We in Ship to Gaza have been met with fantastic support during our trip along the whole of the Swedish coast, from Umeå to Gothenburg. Everywhere people have flocked to the ship and left donations for our work towards lifting the blockade on the people of the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately we have also been the target of threats in social media, threats which we obviously must take seriously. It is sad that voluntary work being done for human rights, peace and justice can arouse aggression in some people.”
Ship to Gaza’s schooner, Estelle, will be docked in Gothenburg until 1 August, when she will continue her 5000-nautical-mile voyage to Gaza with the goal of ending the blockade.
Ship to Gaza-Sweden
Dror Feiler: +46 702855777
Mattias Gardell: +46 703036666
Follow the Swedish sailing ship Estelle en route to Gaza:
[If you do not see a map tracking the Estelle below, it means that the ship is out of range from the tracking system. You can also try this link: http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/]
A message from Ship to Gaza – Sweden:
“Estelle, our beautiful sailing ship, is going to play a key role in Ship to Gaza’s renewed attempt to break the blockade on Gaza. This summer, we and our European partner organizations will be launching an entirely new project. This time, we are going to sail from Umeå [in northern Sweden] to Gaza, stopping on the way at ports in the Baltic Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. At each stop, there will be speakers, concerts and public festivals providing information about the situation in Gaza. We will be bringing a cargo of necessities that have been requested by the non-partisan, independent organizations in Gaza that we work together with.”