Israeli Army Radio reported that Israel agreed to form an investigation committee for its violent attack against the Turkish ship heading to Gaza with the solidarity flotilla carrying humanitarian supplies and hundreds of peace activists. In Lebanon, a solidarity ship with filled aid, activists and journalists is getting ready to sail.Nine activists were killed last week in the Israeli raid and several others were wounded.
Israel said that it would investiage the attack in cooperation with international investigators.
Howver, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said that Israel will not allow foreign officials to interview any of the Israeli military personnel involved in the attack.
In Ashdod, Israel searched the Irish Ship, MV Rachel Corrie, after boarding it and towing it to the port earlier Saturday.
Israel said it would search the ship and empty its cargo before moving the cargo to Gaza by land.
The activists on board were taken to an Israeli Police station in Holon to be deported later.
In addition to humanitarian and medical supplies, there are 500 tons of cement on the ship. Israel has conceded that it might allow the cement into Gaza “as long as it is used for civilian purposes.”
After unloading its cargo, the Israeli Navy will escort the Rachel Corrie out of Israeli waters as it returns to Dublin.
In Tel Aviv, hundreds of leftist activists held a protest and marched from Rabin Square towards the Tel Aviv Museum. Members of Knesset Mohammad Baraka and Dov Hanain also participated in the protest.
The protestors demanded an end to the seige on Gaza.
In Lebanon, the Free Palestine Movement and the Coalition of Free Journalists held a press conference Saturday and declared that they will be sending a ship to Gaza.
The Heroes of Freedom Fleet will be sailing next week from Beirut carrying educational materials for Gaza children and other aid supplies.
The Naharnet online news agency reported that Yasser Qoshok, head of the Free Palestine Movement, called on ‘all those who consider themselves ‘free’ to participate in this convoy,’ which has been named the ‘Naji al-Ali Fleet to break the siege on the children and the people of Gaza.’
Qoshok added that the ship will also carry journalists who will be focusing on the situation in Gaza living under Israeli siege, and the humanitarian crisis there.
A total of 50 journalists and 25 European activists, including Members of Parliament, will be sailing from Beirut later next week.