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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

LIVEBLOG: French yacht contacted surrounded off Gaza coast

The French yacht Dignite al-Karama spent the night in Port Said, Egypt, and departed for Gaza at 6:00 am. It was due in the area at Noon. Israel Radio reported at 11:30 that the Navy had contacted the yacht several kilometers off Gaza and warned that it was about to enter a blockaded zone. The yacht claimed to have lost contact with the Navy....

Swedish Israeli Dror Feiler is on the yacht, but has not updated his Twitter feed since June 30. Haaretz reporter Amira Hass is apparently not on Twitter. In the meantime, here is an earlier JPost story. If something happens, this post will go to liveblog.
A defense official on Monday said that the navy is preparing to stop the ship before it reaches the Strip.

The Dignity is carrying 17 pro-Palestinian activists. It was part of the Free Gaza Movement’s flotilla that was canceled earlier this month after Greece refused to allow the ships to leave its ports for the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, the ship left Greek waters after declaring Alexandria as its destination. According to Free Gaza, its passengers include Jacqueline Le Corre, a member of the French Communist Party, Jean-Claude Lefort, a former French Member of the European Parliament, and Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass.

While the organizers did not explicitly declare that the ship would sail to Gaza, they said that it was part of the “first wave that will be followed by others.”

“It is a message to the Israeli government, to the international community and to the besieged people of Gaza: The Free Gaza Movement and the coalition of Freedom Flotilla II are not giving up until the inhumane and illegitimate blockade of Gaza is lifted,” the movement said in a press release.
What could go wrong?


The yacht is surrounded several tens of kilometers off the coast of Gaza.


Make that 43 miles off the coast of Gaza.


Israel Radio reports Navy will let yacht return to Egypt but will not let it reach Gaza. Navy has told yacht in English and French they will board the ship and hope that it will happen calmly. They will give them instructions before they board. Tape of Navy speaking to yacht played on radio. Yacht not responding. Twitterers say yacht has no communications.


Navy preparing to board ship.


Here's an update from the IDF.
The Israel Navy is currently in a dialogue with the activists on-board the Al-Karame, in an attempt to dissuade them from continuing on their route into an area under a maritime security blockade off the coast of Gaza.

In accordance with Israel government directives, and as previously stressed, the Israel Navy will allow the organizers and passengers to re-track at any point, prior to the boarding of Israel Navy soldiers.

Here's a video from the IDF. Let's go to the videotape.


IDF successfully took over the yacht. The yacht is being towed to Ashdod (Israel Radio's 1:00 pm newscast).


Here's a list of the passengers aboard the Dignite al-Karama according to the Free Gaza organization:

Passengers 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. Derradji Ayyash Al Jazeera journalist

15. Stéphane Guida, cameraman for Al Jazeera,

16. Amira Hass (Israeli journalist - Haaretz).


Israel Radio played warnings given to ship before boarding the yacht. The Navy commandos boarded from the rear and urged the captain of the yacht to take all safety precautions.

I have to add that for the last couple of hours, I have been following a twitter search relating to this vessel. I have to wonder whether and why people believe the things that are being written about us there. There are many sickening lies.

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At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please someone arrange for Hass to accidentally slip overboard while caught in the anchor chain.

We are ridiculously nice.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, Hass in German means "hate."

What a fitting name for that woman! She is by the way Haaretz's correspondent to the Palestinians.

They should have thrown Dror Feiler overboard too - he's a vicious anti-Semite and Israel hater!

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman, "haas" means "hate". "Hass" is most probably "hase", meaning "rabbit".

If you insist, you could say that Amira Hass on one dumb self-loathing bunny.

Otherwise, "hass" in Hebrew means "stay silent" or, as they say in Brooklyn, "shaddap already - sheesh!"


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