French Boat to Gaza: the seizure by Israeli forces is an illegal act and an act of violence

19/07/2011 16:19

The French ship Dignité Al Karama has been captured in international waters by Israeli forces and taken to the port of Ashdod. Its passengers were transferred to a military ship. This seizure is an act of violence and illegal.

Armed commandos of the Israeli army boarded the French boat 40 miles off the coast of Gaza in international waters, as in May 2010 when the Israeli army attacked the first Freedom Flotilla. This is a new act of piracy against “Tom Thumb.”

We are not yet certain that there has been no violence, as claimed by the Israeli army, because no contact with passengers is possible. Military censorship is being applied. In any case, the use of force to bring a boat and its passengers in the port of Ashdod under the threat of weapons with military vessels is an act of violence must be condemned, as must the blockade of Gaza.

Bateau pour Gaza, l’abordage de l’armée israélienne est un acte illégal et un acte de violence

19/07/2011 16:19

Le bateau français Dignité Al Karama a été capturé dans les eaux internationales par l’armée israélienne et amené dans le port d’Ashdod, Ses passagers ont été transférés sur un bateau militaire. Cet abordage est un acte de violence et un acte illégal.

Les commandos armés de l’armée israélienne ont abordé le bateau français à 40 miles des côtes de Gaza dans les eaux internationales, comme en mai 2010 quand l’armée israélienne avait attaqué la première flottille de la liberté. C’est un nouvel acte de piraterie, contre un « Petit poucet citoyen ».

Nous ne sommes pas pour le moment certains qu’il n’y a pas eu de violence, comme le prétend l’armée israélienne, car aucun contact avec les passagers n’est possible. La censure militaire est toujours appliquée. Dans tous les cas amener de force un bateau et ses passagers dans le port d’Ashdod sous la menace d’armes, avec des bateaux militaires, est un acte de violence qui doit être condamné, comme doit l’être le blocus de Gaza.

Press Release
Athens, 19/7/2011

This morning, the French flag ship “Dignité/Al Karama”, carrying 16 passengers -among them the coordinator of the Greek Initiative Vangelis Pissias, and representing the international “Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human” – started to sail from outside Port Said of Egypt towards the Gaza Strip. The boat gave its last position when in international waters, approximately 50 miles away from Gaza coast. Since 11:00am, while surrounded by 4 Israeli naval ships according to its passengers, every communication has been interrupted. A little while ago, it was reported as confirmed that the vessel was seized.

Israel, once again, appears to play the role of the sheriff in the south-eastern Mediterranean. The disregard of any notion of international law, the mobilization of any legal or illegal means to achieve its objectives -to prevent any attempt of expressing practical international solidarity with Palestine- is a permanent well known tactic. The Greek government acted in such a pro-Israeli way that even Israel wouldn’t expect, shamelessly accepting congratulations by the Israeli and US governments, while at the same moment Palestinians in Ramallah heavily disapproved of the Greek President -first time for a Greek politician.

We demand from the Greek government, of course not to condemn the illegal act of its Israeli friends, who once again intervened militarily and beyond any concept of international law, against unarmed citizens in the international waters of SE Mediterranean, but to do, at least, the minimum and fundamentally self-evident: intervene immediately in order to protect -as required by the Constitution-the life and integrity of all on board and -above all- the Greek Vangelis Pissias.

The Greek society will provide the response to the latest Israeli provocative act. The Greek society who -unlike it’s government- stands firmly and through time in solidarity to the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people.

We call for a rally today at Syntagma, Tuesday 19th at 7:00pm

Passenger List for “Dignité / Al Karama”
1. Stéphane Corriveau (Canadian Boat to Gaza)
2. Dror Feiler (Ship to Gaza-Sweden and European Jews for a Just Peace, composer – musician)
3. Hilary Folacci (Sailor)
4. Jérôme Gleizes (European Greens)
5. Jacqueline Le Corre (MD, Collectif 14 Support to the Palestinian people, PCF/french communist party)
6. Jean Claude Lefort (Honorary Member of french Parliament)
7. Jo Leguen (Navigator)
8. Claude Léostic (Spokesperson of Campaign “A French ship to Gaza” – Association France/Palestine /Solidarity -AFPS)
9. Yamin Makri (Collectif 69 Support the Palestinian people)
10. Omeyya Naoufel Seddik (Tunisian Federation for citizenship on both sides- FTCR, political scientist)
11. Dr. Vangelis Pissias (Campaign “Ship to Gaza – Greece”, professor at Higher Institute of Technology, Athens)
12. Thomas Sommer – Houdeville (Spokesperson of Campaign “A French ship to Gaza” and “Campagne Civile Internationale Pour la Protection du Peuple Palestinien – CCIPPP”, associate researcher at the IFPO – Institut Français du Proche Orient)
13. Yannick Voisin (captain).
Also on board
14. Ayyash Derradji Al Jazeera journalist
15. Stéphane Guida, cameraman for Al Jazeera,
16. Amira Hass (Israeli journalist – Haaretz).

The FPM Team

(Facebook / 19.07.2011)

One thought on “French Boat to Gaza: the seizure by Israeli forces is an illegal act and an act of violence

  1. Israel’s capture of this ship in International waters on it’s way to Gaza’s territorial waters is a violation of international law, and an act of piracy. I hope that France will show it’s strength, and not allow Israel to do this without seious consequences. Israel is a roque state, and must be stopped.

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