Israel to ‘prevent’ Canadian, Irish aid ships reaching Gaza

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Israel has announced that its navy will attempt to stop two boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists bound for the Gaza Strip, in the latest attempt by activists to break the four-year Israeli blockade against the territory.

The Israeli military spokesman’s office said the country’s navy was “prepared to contact” the vessels and had “completed the necessary preparations in order to prevent them from reaching the Gaza Strip”.

The Canadian boat Tahrir and the Irish boat MV Saoirse left the port of Fethiye in southwest Turkey on Wednesday after Turkish authorities gave them permission to sail to the Greek island of Rhodes.

Al Jazeera’s Casey Kauffman, on board one of the ships, said that in total it would be a 50-hour journey, and they were currently one-fifth of the way there.

“Everyone on the boat wants to get to Gaza,” he said, adding that while the activists are prepared for the possibility of an Israeli interception, the initiative will not be wasted.

“It will still bring attention to the situation in Gaza, and the blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military official, would not say how the boats might be stopped, saying only “we will have to assess and see if we are facing violent passengers.”

Describing their journey as a “provocation”, she said Israel would offer to unload any aid supplies on board and deliver them to Gaza.

Sailing under the flag of the Comoros Islands, the Tahrir is carrying six activists, a captain and five journalists.

The Saoirse – sailing under the US flag – has 12 Irish nationals on board, none of whom are journalists.

‘Support from Turkish society’

David Heap, a member of the steering committee on board the Tahrir, told Al Jazeera that the activists chose to leave from Fethiye because of the strained relations between Turkey and Israel.

“The Turkish government has been creating more distance from Israel diplomatically and we know there is support from Turkish society for what we are doing.

“Our judgment was that the Turkish state would not interfere with us if we didn’t make too much of a public issue of our plan to depart from there,” Heap told Al Jazeera.

t will take at least a couple of days before the boats reach the Palestinian waters of the Gaza Strip, where they expect to be approached by the Israeli navy.

“We have some distance to cover between where we are now and Palestinian territorial waters of Gaza.

“Obviously we are going to avoid going through Israeli territorial waters.

“Our plan is to go directly from international waters into the territorial waters of Gaza – within a couple of days.

The activists say the new attempt the break the siege on the Gaza Strip is part of a campaign they call “freedom waves”, implying that more such efforts will follow.

Both ships were part of previous attempts to break the siege on the Gaza Strip that was stalled when the Greek government refused to let a flotilla leave from its shores in July this year.

The Tahrir, the larger ship of the two, was intercepted by the Greek coast guard with more than 30 pro-Palestinian activists onboard.

Two of them were detained for defying Greece’s ban on setting sail to Gaza. The vessel was stopped about 10 minutes after it left port on the island of Crete.

The Irish boat allegedly suffered damage when it was sabotaged while waiting to join the flotilla from Turkish waters. The ship has since been repaired and kept in dry-dock in Turkey.

aljazeera

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61 responses to “Israel to ‘prevent’ Canadian, Irish aid ships reaching Gaza”

  1. As a Canadian citizen, I give Israel the permission to beat the crap out of these anti-smite Canadians and turn their boats around and push it back from where they came from. Then our Canadian government can look into charging them with in supporting a terrorist organization (Hamas), when they return to Canada, to receive our free health care, to recover from their beatings.

  2.  Avatar

    As a Canadian citizen, I give Israel the permission to beat the crap out of these anti-smite Canadians and turn their boats around and push it back from where they came from. Then our Canadian government can look into charging them with in supporting a terrorist organization (Hamas), when they return to Canada, to receive our free health care, to recover from their beatings.

    1. “Anti Semite ?”  Change the Record why don’t you ? That charge is meaningless ! 

      1.  Avatar

        If a group of Canadians bound to Gaza, who are in support of a terrorist organization like Hamas, that believes in the destruction of Israel and all it’s people, is that not being a anti-Semite – then what?

        1.  Avatar

          The Canadians are helping the hungry in Gaza not necessarily the fighters and the hungry Gazan’s happened to be of semitic race so how could they be anti -semite? Can somebody explain?

        2.  Avatar

          Rafic … if anyone in Gaza is hungry, then it’s the fault of Hamas.

    2.  Avatar

      Canadians already have Somali Kabobs mad at them .. why not the other side too. 😉
      And the ‘free health care’ is paid for in the taxes … by ALL willingly … so it’s not free.

      1.  Avatar

        Yes, the health care is paid by our taxes, like myself. Hopefully, these Gaza bound Canadians have already filled out there Tax Returns and paid their taxes on top of that, before they went on there Gaza Cruise

      2.  Avatar

        Yes, the health care is paid by our taxes, like myself. Hopefully, these Gaza bound Canadians have already filled out there Tax Returns and paid their taxes on top of that, before they went on there Gaza Cruise

    3. plomca – you are a dick.

      1.  Avatar

        But one with a smile. 😉  By the way, how is the Euro doing in Spain?

  3. master09 Avatar

    From Turkey??? are these freedom activist for real or are they wanting to make trouble. By departing from Turkey the picture is clear.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      I think they sneaked away. The Turks stopped the last bunch from going, even as they railed at Israeli soldiers (the inspection party) for defending themselves when they boarded the first ‘flotilla’ … which is why they go to Rhodes first. Hmmm … Maybe the Greeks will accept a little payolla to help their debt problems … and let them sail again. 🙂

      1. Patience2 Avatar

        πολύ αστείο! 🙂

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Sorry … didn’t mean to disturb a Greek too much … you have enough problems with Euros at the moment. 😉

      2. master09 Avatar

        Rafic … if anyone in Gaza is hungry, then it’s the fault of Hamas. 5th Drawer and also the rest of the ARAB nations who as well do not want peace and care not for the people.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Tsk tsk Master. You and Elle above cannot say I don’t care to have peace … and I think it would be wonderful if they stopped lobbing rockets into Israel and thereby getting themselves shot at all the time … but making out that they are being intentionally starved by Israel is ludicrous. A boat-load of ‘protesters’ bringing band-aids won’t do much either.
          Well .. sure .. they got headlines. I suppose that’s the main idea? Then good.
           But I’m tired of people equating what Israel does to what someone like Assad and his ‘enforcers’ do ALL the time.
          Ask some Fatah people about Hamas and it’s methods too – especially when it comes to democratic thought.
          Next, they could drive the boats around to Somalia perhaps, to give some ‘aid’ to the truly starving people. I’m sure they would be able to drive to the beaches there.
          “Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem.” – John Galsworthy

        2. If parents do not feed their children , that does not mean others can not step in and feed the helpless children.

      3. master09 Avatar

        Rafic … if anyone in Gaza is hungry, then it’s the fault of Hamas. 5th Drawer and also the rest of the ARAB nations who as well do not want peace and care not for the people.

      4. master09 Avatar

        Tsk tsk Master. You and Elle above cannot say I don’t care to have peace … and I think it would be wonderful if they stopped lobbing rockets into Israel and thereby getting themselves shot at all the time

        Sorry 5th what I was saying is that the Arabs do not give a crap about the Pals not yourself.
        Isreal has every rite to protect itself from anyone not just the Pals.
        Yes if they drop the weapons and sit with the Jews than maybe the people may have a better outcome.  

      5. master09 Avatar

        Tsk tsk Master. You and Elle above cannot say I don’t care to have peace … and I think it would be wonderful if they stopped lobbing rockets into Israel and thereby getting themselves shot at all the time

        Sorry 5th what I was saying is that the Arabs do not give a crap about the Pals not yourself.
        Isreal has every rite to protect itself from anyone not just the Pals.
        Yes if they drop the weapons and sit with the Jews than maybe the people may have a better outcome.  

  4.  Avatar

    From Turkey??? are these freedom activist for real or are they wanting to make trouble. By departing from Turkey the picture is clear.

    1.  Avatar

      I think they sneaked away. The Turks stopped the last bunch from going, even as they railed at Israeli soldiers (the inspection party) for defending themselves when they boarded the first ‘flotilla’ … which is why they go to Rhodes first. Hmmm … Maybe the Greeks will accept a little payolla to help their debt problems … and let them sail again. 🙂

      1.  Avatar

        πολύ αστείο! 🙂

        1.  Avatar

          Sorry … didn’t mean to disturb a Greek too much … they have enough problems with Euros at the moment. 😉

      2.  Avatar

        Rafic … if anyone in Gaza is hungry, then it’s the fault of Hamas. 5th Drawer and also the rest of the ARAB nations who as well do not want peace and care not for the people.

        1.  Avatar

          Tsk tsk Master. You and Elle above cannot say I don’t care to have peace … and I think it would be wonderful if they stopped lobbing rockets into Israel and thereby getting themselves shot at all the time … but making out that they are being intentionally starved by Israel is ludicrous. A boat-load of ‘protesters’ bringing band-aids won’t do much either.
          Well .. sure .. they got headlines. I suppose that’s the main idea? Then good.
           But I’m tired of people equating what Israel does to what someone like Assad and his ‘enforcers’ do ALL the time.
          Ask some Fatah people about Hamas and it’s methods too – especially when it comes to democratic thought.
          Next, they could drive the boats around to Somalia perhaps, to give some ‘aid’ to the truly starving people. I’m sure they would be able to drive to the beaches there.

        2.  Avatar

          Tsk tsk Master. You and Elle above cannot say I don’t care to have peace … and I think it would be wonderful if they stopped lobbing rockets into Israel and thereby getting themselves shot at all the time … but making out that they are being intentionally starved by Israel is ludicrous. A boat-load of ‘protesters’ bringing band-aids won’t do much either.
          Well .. sure .. they got headlines. I suppose that’s the main idea? Then good.
           But I’m tired of people equating what Israel does to what someone like Assad and his ‘enforcers’ do ALL the time.
          Ask some Fatah people about Hamas and it’s methods too – especially when it comes to democratic thought.
          Next, they could drive the boats around to Somalia perhaps, to give some ‘aid’ to the truly starving people. I’m sure they would be able to drive to the beaches there.

        3.  Avatar

          If parents do not feed their children , that does not mean others can not step in and feed the helpless children.

      3.  Avatar

        Tsk tsk Master. You and Elle above cannot say I don’t care to have peace … and I think it would be wonderful if they stopped lobbing rockets into Israel and thereby getting themselves shot at all the time

        Sorry 5th what I was saying is that the Arabs do not give a crap about the Pals not yourself.
        Isreal has every rite to protect itself from anyone not just the Pals.
        Yes if they drop the weapons and sit with the Jews than maybe the people may have a better outcome.  

  5.  Avatar

    From Turkey??? are these freedom activist for real or are they wanting to make trouble. By departing from Turkey the picture is clear.

  6.  Avatar

    From Turkey??? are these freedom activist for real or are they wanting to make trouble. By departing from Turkey the picture is clear.

  7.  Avatar

    From Turkey??? are these freedom activist for real or are they wanting to make trouble. By departing from Turkey the picture is clear.

  8. elie younes Avatar
    elie younes

    So caring about those suffering (mainly kids), in palestine makes you antisemitic? What a fucked up world we live in. Will the real Jews please stand up..

    1. eblashko Avatar

      I’m a real Jew and I will stay sitting down. I don’t see these activists bringing supplies to the poor kids in Sderot and Ashkelon… the real victims of those bent on genocide. So yes, they’re anti-Semites. 

      Hamas is responsible. Israel says over and over the siege can be lifted if Hamas stops trying to destroy Israel (killing people!!!). They repeatedly refuse. They have the power to end the siege this instant. But that wouldn’t be in line with their Iranian puppet masters’ plans. 

      1. Eblahko, 
        the siege should only be against weapons. Children should never go hungry. Israel should board the ships and make sure there are no weapons on board, then escort them to unload their supplies and make sure the ships leave in timely manner. No one should take it out on children if they have beef with their parents. 

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          I think, Libnan1, that is exactly what has been done – ships were unloaded at other ports, and all donated ‘supplies’ delivered to the Gazans, if they were not things proscribed by a ‘weapons blockade’. We have noted Hamas not distributing them, however.

        2. eblashko Avatar

          Libnan, you’re 100% right. But the siege doesn’t keep supplies from arriving to Gaza. It just is there to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza. All aid delivered, even the aid from the Mavi Marmara flotilla last year, was delivered to Gaza after being checked at Ashdod to see if there was nothing Hamas could use as a weapon.

          The point of these flotillas is not to deliver aid. There are plenty of ways to do that without challenging the siege, and Israel has never denied any actual aid entrance to Gaza. The point of the flotilla is to challenge Israeli authority, and pretty much say that you have to right to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza.

          Well when Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, are bent on Israel’s destruction and refuse to budge on accepting our existence, then I think, as self defense, that we do have a right to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza.

        3. master09 Avatar

          They did and not one slice of bread was on board, this is a political stunt that makes it worse for the kids you are talking about.
          For the kids go hungry because Hamas will not stop the rockets and so the people who punish these kids are their own kind……and trust me the kids are eating.

  9. elie younes Avatar
    elie younes

    So caring about those suffering (mainly kids), in palestine makes you antisemitic? What a fucked up world we live in. Will the real Jews please stand up..

  10. elie younes Avatar
    elie younes

    So caring about those suffering (mainly kids), in palestine makes you antisemitic? What a fucked up world we live in. Will the real Jews please stand up..

    1.  Avatar

      I’m a real Jew and I will stay sitting down. I don’t see these activists bringing supplies to the poor kids in Sderot and Ashkelon… the real victims of those bent on genocide. So yes, they’re anti-Semites. 

      Hamas is responsible. Israel says over and over the siege can be lifted if Hamas stops trying to destroy Israel (killing people!!!). They repeatedly refuse. They have the power to end the siege this instant. But that wouldn’t be in line with their Iranian puppet masters’ plans. 

      1.  Avatar

        Eblahko, 
        the siege should only be against weapons. Children should never go hungry. Israel should board the ships and make sure there are no weapons on board, then escort them to unload their supplies and make sure the ships leave in timely manner. No one should take it out on children if they have beef with their parents. 

        1.  Avatar

          I think, Libnan1, that is exactly what has been done – ships were unloaded at other ports, and all donated ‘supplies’ delivered to the Gazans, if they were not things proscribed by a ‘weapons blockade’. We have noted Hamas not distributing them, however.

        2.  Avatar

          Libnan, you’re 100% right. But the siege doesn’t keep supplies from arriving to Gaza. It just is there to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza. All aid delivered, even the aid from the Mavi Marmara flotilla last year, was delivered to Gaza after being checked at Ashdod to see if there was nothing Hamas could use as a weapon.

          The point of these flotillas is not to deliver aid. There are plenty of ways to do that without challenging the siege, and Israel has never denied any actual aid entrance to Gaza. The point of the flotilla is to challenge Israeli authority, and pretty much say that you have to right to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza.

          Well when Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, are bent on Israel’s destruction and refuse to budge on accepting our existence, then I think, as self defense, that we do have a right to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza.

        3.  Avatar

          Libnan, you’re 100% right. But the siege doesn’t keep supplies from arriving to Gaza. It just is there to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza. All aid delivered, even the aid from the Mavi Marmara flotilla last year, was delivered to Gaza after being checked at Ashdod to see if there was nothing Hamas could use as a weapon.

          The point of these flotillas is not to deliver aid. There are plenty of ways to do that without challenging the siege, and Israel has never denied any actual aid entrance to Gaza. The point of the flotilla is to challenge Israeli authority, and pretty much say that you have to right to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza.

          Well when Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, are bent on Israel’s destruction and refuse to budge on accepting our existence, then I think, as self defense, that we do have a right to monitor what goes into and out of Gaza.

        4.  Avatar

          They did and not one slice of bread was on board, this is a political stunt that makes it worse for the kids you are talking about.
          For the kids go hungry because Hamas will not stop the rockets and so the people who punish these kids are their own kind……and trust me the kids are eating.

      2.  Avatar

        Eblahko, 
        the siege should only be against weapons. Children should never go hungry. Israel should board the ships and make sure there are no weapons on board, then escort them to unload their supplies and make sure the ships leave in timely manner. No one should take it out on children if they have beef with their parents. 

    2.  Avatar

      I’m a real Jew and I will stay sitting down. I don’t see these activists bringing supplies to the poor kids in Sderot and Ashkelon… the real victims of those bent on genocide. So yes, they’re anti-Semites. 

      Hamas is responsible. Israel says over and over the siege can be lifted if Hamas stops trying to destroy Israel (killing people!!!). They repeatedly refuse. They have the power to end the siege this instant. But that wouldn’t be in line with their Iranian puppet masters’ plans. 

  11. master09 Avatar

    Rafic the people have control over what they do and want, Isreal is saying stop the rockets come to the table and talk or this situation will never stop. If your father and mother do not feed you what are they there FOR?? 
      
    If parents do not feed their children , that does not mean others can not step in and feed the helpless children. Your kidding rite. If the parents are dead well yes for sure, but this boat thing is more political than anything else, the boats had nothing on them…
     

  12.  Avatar

    Rafic the people have control over what they do and want, Isreal is saying stop the rockets come to the table and talk or this situation will never stop. If your father and mother do not feed you what are they there FOR?? 
      
    If parents do not feed their children , that does not mean others can not step in and feed the helpless children. Your kidding rite. If the parents are dead well yes for sure, but this boat thing is more political than anything else, the boats had nothing on them…
     

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