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A campaign to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.
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Monday, 27 September 2010

Israel Threatens to stop Jewish Boat from entering GAZA

Israel was adamant on Monday that its navy would stop a boatload of Jewish activists headed for Gaza if they insisted on trying to run the blockade of the coastal strip.

Foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said so far there had been no contact with the crew of the "Irene," which left Cyprus on Sunday, and he did not know its current position. He said that if the vessel headed for the Egyptian port of El-Arish or Ashdod in Israel it would be allowed to proceed unhindered.

"The intention is to establish radio contact with them and ascertain where they intend to go," Palmor told AFP. If they say Gaza, then we shall explain to them that to (sail) to Gaza is forbidden. If they insist on entering the banned zone, 20 miles (32 kilometres) off the Gaza coast, they will be stopped and taken to Ashdod," he said.

Yonatan Shapira, one of the seven activists on the small British-flagged sailing boat, told AFP by satellite phone on Sunday that they were not looking for a fight. We have a policy of non-violence and non-confrontation," said the former Israeli combat pilot. "But if the Israeli army stops the boat, we will not help them to take it to Ashdod."

Jews for Justice for Palestine sail to GAZA

A boat carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Germany, the US and Britain set sail today for Gaza, hoping to breach Israel's naval blockade there.

Richard Kuper, an organiser with the British group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said one goal was to show that not all Jews supported Israeli policies toward Palestinians. Kuper said the boat, which set sail from northern Cyprus flying a British flag, would not resist Israeli authorities.

The voyage by the 10-metre catamaran Irene comes nearly four months after Israeli commandos boarded a flotilla of Gaza-bound ships, killing eight pro-Palestinian Turkish activists and a Turkish American aboard the Mavi Marmara.

Rami Elhanan, an Israeli passenger whose daughter Smadar was killed in a suicide bombing at a shopping mall in Jerusalem in 1997, said it was his "moral duty" to act in support of Palestinians in Gaza because reconciliation was the surest path to peace.

"Those 1.5 million people in Gaza are victims exactly as I am," Elhanan, 60, said.