IAWM PRESS RELEASE – 20 October 2012
The Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM) issued a statement today condemning the attack by the Israeli navy on the Swedish ship MV Estelle in international waters
and the kidnapping of its crew and passengers.
The attack occurred 17 Nautical Miles north of the Egyptian port El Arish. Contact was lost with the ship at 9.15am this morning when Israeli war ships surrounded the peaceful ship and the assault began.
The statement noted that there were many parliamentarians on board including the following:
Former Member of Parliament Manly James,
Canada Member of Parliament Hagen Aksel,
Norway Member of Parliament Britton Sven,
Sweden Member of Parliament Kodelas Dimitios,
Greece Member of Parliament Sixto Ricardo,
Spain Member of Parliament Diamantopoulos Evangelos, Greece
Full list of individuals onboard: http://shiptogaza.se/en/news/sailors-onboard-estelle
See Jim Manly’s pre-recorded video message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8egYBdf-Zo
The passengers also included Israeli peace activist Yonatan Shapira, who had been a combat pilot in the Israeli Air Force and had refused to take part in the bombing of Palestinian cities. Shapira and other activists made their way to the Estelle in a motorboat, evading vessels of the Greek Coast Guard that sought to bar their way.
The IAWM statement noted that there is huge support in Ireland for the Estelle and, recently, 80 parliamentarians - from north and south - signed a statement in support of the mission of the ship and the Gaza flotilla movement generally. For the statement and full list of 80 Irish politicians, see:
“This new attack by Israel in international waters on a civilian ship carrying aid and activists to the besieged people of Gaza shows yet again that Israel acts with impunity when it comes to international law. The MV Estelle was of no threat to anybody yet it was attacked by the fourth largest military in the world.”
Jim Roche, IAWM PRO, and passenger on board the sabotaged MV Saoirse as part of ‘Freedom Flotilla 2’ last year said:
“It is disgraceful that Israel is allowed to get away with suck attacks on peaceful ships carrying aid and hope to the besieged people of Gaza. This latest attack on the MV Estelle shows yet again that Israel is not interested in peace, does not want the horrors of Gaza exposed to the world and that it will do what it wants, where it wants and use as much violence as it wants to.”
“This latest expedition by the MV Estelle showed that ordinary people in civil society, including an Israeli citizen, care more about the people of Gaza than Governments do. The MV Estelle had strong support throughout Ireland. It also had the support of over 80 Irish Parliamentarians, north and south, who signed a supportive statement. We now call on the Irish Government, and in particular Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore, to condemn this latest attack by the Israeli military and to call on the Israeli Government to end the punishing siege of Gaza.”
For more information:
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 6472737
Lola Hynes, Secretary, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 822 8795
Daryl Southern, Coordinator, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 085 277 6505
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