As the Irish-Malaysian aid ship MV Rachel Corrie approaches within 25 miles of Gaza, communication with the passengers and crew has been cut. This development occurred just after 6:30 am Saturday morning, after passengers on board the ship notified their support team in Cyprus that they were being followed by the Israeli navy.This is the same thing that occurred just before the Israeli navy attacked the rest of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla of six ships early Monday morning, so supporters are worried that the cut-off of communications could mean that the Israeli navy plans to board the ship, MV (Maritime Vessel) Rachel Corrie.
The ship’s passengers are mainly Irish activists, and its point of departure was Dublin. In support of the ship’s mission, and to pressure the Israeli government to allow the ship to pass, hundreds of demonstrators showed up outside the Israeli consulate in Dublin early Saturday morning.
Some media outlets in Israel and internationally reported that the aid ship was intercepted and boarded by the Israeli navy, but the latest report from the Gaza Freedom Flotilla support team is that they lost contact with the passengers on board, and don’t know the fate of the ship.
The ship was supposed to have been part of the flotilla earlier this week, but was delayed due to technical problems. After the Israeli military attacked the aid flotilla, killing 9 and injuring 60, the passengers and crew of the delayed MV Rachel Corrie said they would not be deterred, and would continue on their mission to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.
The ship is carrying tons of humanitarian aid, including school supplies, medical supplies and food. It is named after American activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by Israeli forces in 2003 while engaging in a non-violent protest to protect a Palestinian home from demolition in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.