Irish Boat to be part of Second Freedom Flotilla to Gaza

Below is an article I wrote for LookLeft magazine late last year.

Irish Boat to be part of Second Freedom Flotilla to Gaza

LookLeft, Issue 4, November 2010

As the second Gaza Freedom Flotilla prepares to set sail on its siege-breaking humanitarian voyage next March, plans are afoot to ensure another Irish ship forms part of this historic mission. The Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign has been frantically raising money since the summer and have secured a down-payment on a boat and several high profile participants including Fianna Fail’s Chris Andrews TD and Senator Mark Daly, Sinn Fein’s Aengus O Snodaigh TD,  along with journalists from the Irish Times, Tribune and Examiner.

Organisers say the purpose of the flotilla is twofold – to peacefully breach the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza that is causing untold human suffering and to bring much-needed aid and supplies to the people.

Dr Fintan Lane, coordinator of the ISTG campaign and survivor of the first Flotilla said, “in May we were violently attacked by Israel in an act of brazen piracy that left nine human rights activists dead. This was an attempt to intimidate international activists, but it failed. Instead, the killings led to global outrage and have strengthened our resolve to break the siege.”

Dr Lane also made an appeal for financial support, saying “we still need to raise funds urgently to ensure the initiative is a success and call on all supporters of the Palestinians to please donate generously”.

Freda Hughes, chair of the IPSC, outlined the political background to the siege, saying, “in the words of Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, the blockade has turned Gaza into an “open air prison”, placing a stranglehold on 1.5 million people. Israel’s stated aim is to apply “pressure and sanctions” to weaken Gaza and to “put Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger”. This is both unjust and sickening, and as recently stated by the UN Human Rights Council, the blockade violates international law. Unfortunately as governments refuse to act, civil society groups must act instead”.

For more information see  www.irishshiptogaza.org

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Explore posts in the same categories: gaza, Goldstone Report, IPSC, Ireland, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, israel, palestine, urgent appeal

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