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June 26, 2015 12:15 pm

Pro-Palestinian Activists, Including Arab MK, Set Sail to Break Gaza Blockade

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Israeli-Arab MK Basel Ghattas set sail for the Gaza Strip on Friday in an attempt to break the Gaza blockade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli-Arab MK Basel Ghattas set sail for the Gaza Strip on Friday in an attempt to break the Gaza blockade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – A ship of pro-Palestinian activists, including an Israeli-Arab member of the Knesset, set sail for the Gaza Strip on Friday in an attempt to breach the naval blockade of the coastal territory.

“Finally, we are aboard the Swedish freedom boat the Marianne, and we are on our way to Gaza,” MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) said on his Facebook page.

The Marianne of Gothenburg, also dubbed “Freedom Flotilla III” in reference to previous flotillas to break the Gaza blockade, originated in Sweden and set sail from Crete, Greece on Friday. It is scheduled to arrive off the coast of Gaza on Sunday. The ship is carrying solar panels and medical supplies, organizers say.

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The Marianne is set to be joined by four other vessels that will total 70 passengers, according to Israeli-born left-wing activist Dror Feiler, who is aboard the vessel. A statement by the flotilla on Friday said the effort is attempting “to highlight the violation of the rights of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the world’s largest open-air prison.”

Israel and Egypt maintain a naval blockade of Gaza in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons and other materials that can ultimately be used for terrorism against their countries.

In 2010, the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship carrying Palestinian activists, was intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces as it attempted to break the Gaza blockade. The confrontation turned violent after militants began attacking Israeli naval commandos, leading to the deaths of nine Turks and the deterioration of Israeli diplomatic relations with Turkey.

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  • esther noodelman

    SHAME ON YOU BASEL GHATTAS AS A MKOF ISRAEL PARLIAMENT TO ABUSE THIS PRIVILEGE TO BREAK A NECESSARY BLOCKADE SPECIFICALLY FROM JEW HATERS LIKE YOURSELF WHO ARE TRYING TO STOP ISRAEL FROM PREVENTING ANARCHISTS LIKE YOU & ALL THE OTHER LOVELY PEOPLE ABOARD WHO WILL PROBABLY BRING MORE AMMUNITION TO OUR INTERNAL ENEMIESBE AS VIOLENT AS YOU HAVE BEEN WITH THE LAST GAZA BLOCKADE.SHAME ON YOU!WHY DON’T YOU GO HELP YOUR BROTHERS IN SYRIA,ETC ? YOU SHOULD BE FIRED AS MK FOR BEING HOSTILE TO A COUNTRY THAT ACCEPTS PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO SERVE.HOW CAN we trust your loyalty when you come as an enemy? OURAGEOUS!

  • The Watchman

    Vidoe it as it approaches. Any sign of violence, fire warning shots. Any returned fire, SINK IT. Even the useless UN have declared the blockade to be LEGAL, plus the Egyptians also blockade Gaza. Perhaps some Egypt/Israel cross border cooperation may be useful.

  • zadimel

    What happened to my reply?

  • zadimel

    The Swedish ship should be permitted to approach the Gaza coast, but the IDF navy should cripple the propulsion system and tow the vessel to the Jewish State where it would be seized. All passengers and crew would be arrested,including the Israeli Arab MK for immunity does not exist when international law is broken.However, no prison time would be exacted on the lawbreakers, but each would be required to pay a rather stiff fine of at least $1,000,000. The Swedish vessel would,of course, not be returned to its owner(s). The defensive actions by the Israeli government would be well-recorded and completely transparent.

  • Who Are the Palestinians?
    by Yashiko Sagamori, 2002 November 25

    Yashiko Sagamori is a New York-based Information Technology consultant.

    If you are so sure that “Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history”, I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of “Palestine”:

    1. When was it founded and by whom?

    2. What were its borders?

    3. What was its capital?

    4. What were its major cities?

    5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

    6. What was its form of government?

    7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

    8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

    9. What was the language of the country of Palestine?

    10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

    11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and try and find the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, British pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.

    12. Have the Palestinians left any artifacts behind?

    13. Do you know of a library where one could find a work of Palestinian literature produced before 1967 CE?

    14. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

    If you are lamenting the “low sinking” of “once proud” nation, then please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

    And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over – or thrown out of – the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War?

    I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern-day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won´t work here.

    The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal through military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people”
    and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the “West Bank” and Gaza, respectively, in the aftermath of the 1967 war?

    The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less of a claim to nationhood than the American Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called “Palestinians” have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel. In my book that is not sufficient to consider them a “nation” — or anything else — except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

    In fact, there is only one way to achieve piece in the Middle East. Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side, should pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited upon it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and acceptance of Israel´s ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

    That will mark the end of the Palestinian people.
    What are you saying again was its beginning?

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