Five Bahraini citizens participating in the Free Gaza Movement’s voyage to Gaza were deported on Friday, following their Tuesday afternoon seizure by Israeli forces in international waters off the Gaza coast.Next report from Ireland. Can I just say that Obama needs to give this kind of reaction and support to the Americans who were kidnapped and imprisoned illegally:
Coordinator of the Palestinian International Campaign to lift the siege Amjad Ash-Shawa confirmed that one of the Bahraini nationals is a reporter for the Al-Jazeera network. All five are expected to be escorted to Ben Gurion International Airport where other Al-Jazeera journalists will be awaiting their arrival.
Two Palestinian activists and organizers with the Free Gaza Movement were released Thursday, and reported being held in unsanitary warehouse-quarters and were questioned by Israeli intelligence.
A report from the New York Times said the Bahrainis were kept in a separate facility from other imprisoned solidarity activists like former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Irish peace activist and Nobel laureate, Mairead Corrigan Maguire.
The Free Gaza Movement’s ship, the Spirit of Humanity, was overtaken by eight Israeli naval warships in international waters on 30 June. All 22 crew members aboard the vessel were detained and most will be deported, Israeli authorities said. The Israeli navy threatened to fire on the boat, which identified itself as a civilian ship bringing supplies to the Gaza Strip, and noted they had been cleared for sail by Cyprus customs authorities.
The ship was nonetheless boarded and taken over, then brought to the Israeli port of Ashdod where activists were taken to prison facilities.source
Irish Government Demands Release of Activists~Condemn Israeli ActionsProud to be Irish today, once in a while we get it perfectly right! What say you Mr Obama? What about YOUR people?
Two Irish citizens remain in Israeli custody after a small boat carrying aid for Gaza was seized 24 miles from shore.
Minister for Justice Micheal Martin yesterday called for the immediate release of the two.
Nobel laurest Mairead Maguire (65) and former Irish soldier Derek Graham (40) sailed on a ferry from Cyprus in a bid to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip with a consignment of aid.
The pair were stopped 24 miles from shore and are waiting to be deported. Mr Martin said officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs have been in contact with Israeli authorities through the embassy in Dublin and the Irish Ambassador in Tel Aviv to secure their release.
Consular staff based in Tel Aviv visited Ms Maguire and Mr Graham yesterday after they were brought ashore on board the Greek-flagged The Spirit of Humanity .
Mr Martin said his immediate priority was ensuring their safety and welfare.
“I would again renew my call for the release of Ms Maguire and Mr Graham as well as the other nineteen passengers detained,” he said.
“I would also call upon the Israeli Government to ensure that the humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza being transported on The Spirit of Humanity are made available as soon as possible to the Palestinian authorities for distribution.”Mr Martin repeated calls for border crossings and trade links to be reopened. They were effectively shut down by Israeli authorities after the military offensive in Gaza in December and January.
“I do not need to recall my strong views on the completely unacceptable nature of the blockade now being imposed on the people of Gaza,” he said.
“All border crossings into Gaza should be opened immediately to humanitarian and normal commercial traffic so that the dire humanitarian situation can be adequately addressed and the reconstruction of Gaza begin.
“This is the only effective remedy which we should seek to offer to the long-suffering people of Gaza.”
IPSC Chair Marie Crawley commented: “We welcome Minister Martin’s intervention and the statement in which he described the ongoing situation in Gaza as ‘completely unacceptable’, and his call on Israel to open all border crossings for both humanitarian. and commercial traffic.
In addition, we strongly welcome the call by Senator Terry Leyden to hold a government debate on the issue of Gaza. Irish Times