The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

No communication with the activists from "Free Gaza"

31 May 2010 / 10:05:38  GRReporter
2814 reads

16 are killed during an attack by Israeli forces against the six ships of an international humanitarian mission directed towards the Gaza Strip.

In the Mission "Free Gaza" 35 Greeks are taking part, for who there is no information in what condition they are. The last time a member of the mission spoke with journalists from the Greek TV channel Sky shortly after 6:00am this morning, describing the attack by the Israeli naval forces.

Israeli navy soldiers shot after they were attacked with knives and axes from some of the members of the international mission, Israeli television station reported. According to Channel 10 the number of fatalities is not yet known. The first ship that was attacked was sailing under the Turkish flag and according to the information most of those who are killed were Turkish nationals. Israel issued a directive to its embassy in Turkey for its citizens to start leaving the country following those events.

On the six ships of the movement "Free Gaza" 700 activists from countries worldwide travel and are carrying 10,000 tons humanitarian aid, the organizers reported. About 11pm at night ships were about 120 km. at open sea and sailed in international waters when they were intercepted by the Israeli navy. Ships were moving close to each other when they were attacked 70 miles from shore. Earlier, Israel warned that it will prevent the sending of humanitarian aid, even if it is necessary to resort to violence.

"Hundreds of Israeli soldiers attacked the vessels of the international mission and the captain of our ship was seriously wounded" forward Al Jazeera correspondent who was present on a ship before the communication was interrupted. According to the Israeli officer, who remained anonymous, the activists have ignored the orders of the Israeli navy to go back or be conveyed to the Israeli port Asntot where to unload the humanitarian aid.

As soon as it became known that the Israeli forces stopped the ships, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs trigger unit for crisis management. At the same time were given directives to the Greek Embassy in Tel Aviv to request official information and explanation from the Israeli authorities for the operation. General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the Israeli ambassador in Athens to become aware for the security of the Greek citizens who have traveled on ships and stressed the need to be taken all measures for their security.

From the first moment when the Greek participants in the mission have expressed their desire to travel with the ships of the "Free Gaza" movement, they were informed of the serious threats to their security. For its part, the services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have done what is necessary to take care for the security of Greek citizens.

In a official statement the Israeli ambassador to Athens Ali Yahya brought under doubt the humanitarian nature of the mission and whether the incident was in international waters. The ambassador stressed that there exists official way to sent aid to Gaza and it is through Israel, as was suggested to the members of the mission.

A study to be done to research the circumstances surrounding the death of the passengers on the ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, which were seized by the Israeli soldiers, the European Union has asked.

Tags: News Gaza humanitarian mission Israel navy attack activists
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus