17 October 2012
European politicians board Gaza-bound aid ship
“The Israeli siege is a politically motivated act of collective punishment and is entirely illegal under international law”
POLITICIANS from across Europe joined the crew of the SV Estelle aid ship in international waters on Tueday as it attempts to break the siege of Gaza.
Members of Parliament from Greece, Norway, Sweden and Spain embarked on the Estelle at sea just south of the Greek archipelago. The ship is carrying humanitarian cargo and is expected to arrive in the besieged Palestinian territory this weekend.
The Finland-registered ship was informed last week that Israel has threatened to use force against the vessel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland told the ship that they had been informed by Israel that: “in case SV Estelle seeks to break the blockade at sea on Gaza (20 nautical miles), Israel will intervene in the situation by using force. Should this take place, the safety of the people on board may be jeopardised.”
Two years ago Israeli special forces raided a Turkish aid ship in international waters on its way to Gaza and killed nine Humanitarian Relief Foundation activists in an incident which sparked international outrage. In November 2011 the Irish ship MV Saoirse also attempted to break the siege but it was surounded by Israeli naval vessels and forcibly seized.
Recently, 80 elected representatives from the Dáil, Seanad and the Assembly as well as Irish MEPs, signed a petition in support of the Estelle as it aims to breach the illegal Israeli blockade.
Fintan Lane of Gaza Action Ireland said it was “wonderful” to see so many politicians take a stand for human rights: “Israel has no right to stop the Estelle and the ship should be allowed to bring its humanitarian cargo directly to the port of Gaza. This inhuman blockade has gone on for far too long and must be ended. The people of Gaza are entitled to their human rights and dignity just like people anywhere else. The Israeli siege is a politically motivated act of collective punishment and is entirely illegal under international law. The international community needs to be more robust in its opposition to this appalling blockade.”
Sinn Féin spokesperson on international affairs Seán Crowe TD said: “I hope that their non-violent attempts to break the Gaza blockade are successful. The ship is carrying aid and construction goods which are needed to overcome the humanitarian emergency in the region.”
Fascinating insights into
Irish revolutionary history now online
Every week over the next two years, An Phoblacht is making all the editions of The Irish Volunteer – the newspaper of the Irish Volunteer movement – available online exactly 100 years after they were first published
The Irish Volunteer — tOglách na hÉireann was first published on 7 February 1914 and every week until 22 April 1916, just days before the Easter Rising.
Acting as the official newspaper of the Irish Volunteers it outlined the political views of the leadership and reported on the and important events, such as the Howth Gun Running of 1914.
Included in its pages alongside political opinions and news reports are various advertisements for such items as revolvers, bandoliers and military uniforms from stockists across Ireland.
You can now read these fascinating insights into Irish revolutionary history with an online subscription to An Phoblacht for just €10 per year. This includes a digital copy of each new edition of the paper and Iris magazine, access to our digitised historic archives as well as copies of The Irish Volunteer.
Premium Online Service For Only €10 Per Year
For less than €1 a month, you get An Phoblacht’s Premium Online Service. Sign up today!
- Full access to all An Phoblacht articles
- Interactive online PDF Booklet of each edition
- Access to our historic Archives
- Discounts for the Online Sinn Féin Shop