Israeli navy gunboats surrounded on Tuesday morning the Dignity French Ship, while on its way to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies to the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip.The ship reached 50 miles close to the Gaza shore when it was intercepted by the Navy who demanded all passengers to stand in a clear view so they can be seen by the soldiers. The Navy also inquired “whether the activists loaded any weapons on the ship”.
One of the activists told the Navy that the ship carries peace activists and humanitarian supplies, and that there are 13 activists onboard in addition to the three crew members. He also told the Navy that the ship is determined to continue
its sail to Gaza.
The Navy is threatening to attack and board the ship should it fail to comply with the demands.
Should the ship be allowed through, it could dock at the Gaza shore by this afternoon.
The ship was docked in Alexandria Port in Egypt, and set sail to its final destination approximately at 7:30 this morning.
The activists are hoping they will be allowed to continue their trip to Gaza, and expressed fears that Israeli will, once again, resort to violence.
On May 31, 2010, Israel attacked the Turkish MV Marmara, part of the Freedom Flotilla, killing nine Turkish activists, including a Turkish activist who carried U.S. citizenship.
An investigation by the Turkish government of last year’s Israeli attack released its results two weeks ago, showing that the nine men killed were hit by 30 bullets fired at close range, with five of the men killed by shots to the head.
The 19-year old American citizen who was killed, Furqan Dogan, was killed by five bullets fired at a distance of 45 cm to his face, the back of his head, his leg and his back.
Freedom Flotilla organizers issued several press releases affirming the non-violent nature of their trip to Gaza, and that its only goal is to break the illegal Israeli siege and to deliver urgently needed medical and humanitarian supplies.