Gush Shalom press release, via email – 31 May 2010
Uri Avnery: this night a crime was perpetrated in the middle of the sea, by
order of the government of Israel and the IDF Command
A war-like attack against aid ships and deadly shooting at peace and
humanitarian aid activists. It is a crazy thing that only a government that
crossed all red lines can do.
“Only a crazy government that has lost all restraint and all connection to
reality could something like that – consider ships carrying humanitarian aid
and peace activists from around the world as an enemy and send massive
military force to international waters to attack them, shoot and kill.
“No one in the world will believe the lies and excuses which the government
and army spokesmen come up with,” said former Knesset member Uri Avnery of
the Gush Shalom movement. Gush Shalom activists together with activists of
other organizations are to depart at 11:00 from Tel Aviv to protest in front
of the prepared detention facility where the international peace activists
will be brought.
Greta Berlin, the spokeswoman for the flotilla organizers located in Cyprus,
told Gush Shalom activists that the Israeli commandos landed by helicopter
on the boats and immediately opened fire.
This is a day of disgrace to the State of Israel, a day of anxiety in which
we discover that our future was entrusted to a bunch of trigger-happy people
without any responsibility. This day is a day of disgrace and madness and
stupidity without limit, the day the Israeli government took care to blacken
the name of the country in the world, adding convincing evidence of
aggressiveness and brutality to Israel’s already bad international image,
discouraging and distancing the few remaining friends.
Indeed, today a provocation took place off the coast of Gaza – but the
provocateurs were not the peace activists invited by the Palestinians and
seeking to reach Gaza. The provocation was carried out by Navy ships
commandos at the bidding of the Israeli government, blocking the way of the
aid boats and using deadly force.
It is time to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, which causes severe
suffering to its residents. Today the Israeli government ripped the mask of
its face with its own hands and exposed the fact that Israel did not
“disengage” from Gaza. Real disengagement from the area does not go together
with blocking the access to it or sending soldiers to shoot and kill and
wound those who try to get there.
The State of Israel promised in the Oslo Accords 17 years ago to enable and
encourage the establishment of a deep water port in Gaza, through which
Palestinians could import and export freely to develop their economy. It’s
time to realize this commitment and open the Port of Gaza. Only after the
Gaza port will be open to free and undisturbed movement, just like the
Ashdod and Haifa ports, will Israel really have disengaged from the Gaza
Strip. Until then, the world will continue – and rightly so – to consider
the Gaza Strip under Israeli occupation and the State of Israel as
responsible for the fate of the people living there.
Uri Avnery 0505-306449
Adam Keller, Gush Shalom spokesman 03-5565804 or 054-2340749
Coalition Against the Siege Yacov – 050-5733276, 09-7670801, Sebastian -050-6846056
Greta Berlin spokeswoman for flotilla organizers 35799187275
The complete IOA coverage of the Gaza Flotilla