Israel Says It Will Intercept Estelle Ship Heading To Gaza
Sunday October 14, 2012 11:50 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Israeli daily, Maariv, reported Sunday that Israel issued a warning informing Finland that its army will intercept and stop the Estelle solidarity ship heading to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies.
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The ship sailed from Italy heading to the coastal region carrying activists from different countries, including human rights defenders from Finland.
Israel sent an official letter in this regard to the Finnish Foreign Ministry, but did not state what type of action it will be taking against the ship sailing under a Finnish flag.
Israel said that the ship will not be allowed to reach Gaza, and will be stopped.
Finland told Israel that the ship carries civilians from Finland, and several other countries, and called on the Israeli Government of Benjamin Netanyahu to show self-restraint.
Estelle left Napoli – Italy on October 7th carrying 20 solidarity activists who are determined to sail to Gaza to deliver supplies, including cement, basketballs, music supplies, theater equipment, cement and various styles of civilian supplies.
Maariv reported that that Dror Feiler, a former Israeli citizen, carrying Swedish citizenship, who is on-board the ship, said that the Israel’s violence and arrests against the activists will not stop them from breaking the Israeli siege.
Earlier in August, activists of Estelle ship posted a video on YouTube showing the ship they bought to sail to Gaza.
In the clip, Feiler said that the goal behind the ship is to pressure European countries into obliging Israel to end its illegal siege on Gaza, or to have these countries at least express clear opposition to this siege.
He affirmed that violence, of any sort or type, is not the intension of the activists, and that the ship is meant to shed light on the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people in the coastal region.
It is worth mentioning that Feiler was part of the 2011 Flotilla that was prevented from leaving Greek ports due to diplomatic pressure practiced by Israel
He also was on board the Mavi Marmara Turkish solidarity ship that was violently attacked and boarded by the Israeli army in late May of 2010; nine Turkish solidarity activists were killed.
Hundreds of patients died in hospitals in the Gaza Strip due to the lack of medications, medical equipment and supplies as the Israeli siege left Gaza’s medical centers out of urgently needed medical supplies and medications.
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