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Freedom Flotilla massacre: Will the world just stand by?

4 June 2010

Via Republican News

Will the world just stand by as Israel continues with its siege on Gaza and commits international crimes?

As this paper goes to print, the Irish-owned vessel the MV Rachel Corrie is continuing en route to Gaza with its 1,000-tonne cargo of medical supplies, children’s toys, educational and rebuilding equipment. It is continuing on its voyage despite the brutal, calculated attack by Israeli military on another member ship of the Freedom Flotilla last Monday.

The number massacred on the Mavi Marmara is still unknown, though it’s believed to be almost 20. Over 50 people were injured and 680 foreign citizens in total were seized illegally in a despicable act of piracy in international waters.

The Rachel Corrie is due to arrive at its destination by the weekend, though Israel sources say they will intercept it. Speaking from the boat, Irishman Derek Graham said, “If this aid is not delivered, then Monday’s deaths will have been in vain”. He added that if Israeli forces attempted to board the ship, all 15 passengers would sit with their arms in the air so that they would not be attacked.

Shane Dillon, was the first of five Irish deportees to arrive home. He described the horrific drama as the ship was surrounded by blacked-out vessels and helicopters before armed forces launched a close-range assault.

He hit back at accusations about activists wielding weapons.

“The weapons the Israelis displayed were cooking knives, a hammer. This was a big merchant ship, of course it’s going to have a hammer, of course it’s going to have galley knives,” he said.

“There was one girl, she was only young, a Belgian girl, she had a broken nose,” he continued. “One of the leaders from the Free Gaza Organisation, he was beaten on the deck of the ship.

“They smashed our stern door, which is glass, and they beat some of the girls and pushed them around the deck.”

The Israeli government has said the sea blockade of the Palestinian territory will remain and the 1.5 million Palestinian people are to receive no aid.

There are 15 people on board the MV Rachel Corrie. Speaking in the Dáil, Taoiseach Brian Cowen called on Israel to allow the vessel to proceed to Gaza and said there would be ‘serious consequences’ if any harm was to come to Irish citizens. As of now the Israeli ambassador remains in Ireland.

In the meantime, most countries’ governments have issued mild statements about the need for an investigation. Activists on the ships and world observers know there is no need for an investigation. No amount of spin from Israeli PR foot-soldiers will convince them otherwise.

Israel has been allowed to get away with crime after crime against the Palestinian people, but in the last few months it has flouted laws in international jurisdictions also. Its illegal use of forged passports signaled its contempt for the rights of other country’s citizens and governments. That has now been shown in full in its actions of terror against hundreds of foreign citizens.

Will the world just stand by as Israel continues with its siege on Gaza and commits international crimes?

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