Breaking News - Oct 20th
The latest in the series of ships to Gaza - the Estelle has been boarded by the Israelis. Initial reports had indicated it was being attacked.
The ship with a crew of 20 aboard with people of eight nationalities was boarded by Israeli forces and forced to sail to the port of Ashdod
In an act violating international maritime law, Israeli naval forces boarded a humanitarian aid ship, the SV Estelle, that was en route to the Gaza Strip bringing humanitarian aid supplies including musical instruments and building materials. These are among the thousands of items still banned by Israeli forces from entering Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement praising the Israeli navy for intercepting the ship, saying that the aim of the humanitarian aid activists was to 'delegitimize Israel', and claiming that 'there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza'.
The attack on the international aid ship comes just days after a leaked document from the Israeli government revealed that Israeli officials had calculated the amount of food necessary to hold every Gazan man, woman and child to a 1200 calorie 'diet', and allowing just that amount of food to trickle into the besieged coastal Strip. This kind of calorie count and collective punishment of a population is a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.
In addition, just two weeks ago the United Nations issued a report stating that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is so severe that the entire Strip will be uninhabitable in less than 15 years. Currently, two thirds of the population of Gaza depend on United Nations food aid for survival.
David Heap, Gaza’s Ark Steering Committee member, currently in Gaza attending an academic conference was interviewed by CTV News. 20 October 2012.
The initial report stated: According to Dror Feiler, spokesperson for Ship to Gaza Sweden, Estelle was attacked at 10.15 AM CET. Five or six military vessels surrounded Estelle. Soldiers wearing masks are now trying to board the ship. The attack took place on international waters: N31 26 E33 45 For latest updates see Twitter
Other Updates Ship to Gazas web site attacked
It is not only Ship to Gaza´s Estelle which has been targeted by attackers. At the same time as Estelle was hijacked our web site, shiptogaza.se, was attacked, which resulted in inavailability for several hours. Our IT-experts state that these attacks were intentional and well planned. Ship to Gaza is considering the option to report the incident to the police.