Irish aid ship seized by Israeli Naval Forces

The Rachel Corrie, an Irish aid ship, was seized by the Israeli Naval Forces, as it attempted to challenge the blockade of Gaza.

The military said its forces boarded the 1,200-ton MV Rachel Corrie cargo ship from the sea, not helicopters. It was intercepted in international waters, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Gaza’s shore. The Israeli military reports the soldiers didn’t meet any resistance.

Passengers include Irishman Dennis Halliday, a former assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mairead Corrigan Maguire. And a group of Irish and Malaysian pro-Palestinian activists.

The ship, named in honor of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, contains support including: toys, school supplies, wheelchairs, medical equipment and cement, a material that Israel has restricted from entry into Gaza.

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign initially organised the ship. Jenny Graham, a Free Gaza Movement (FGM) activist, assured that everything aboard the ship had been inspected in Ireland. A FGM activist Greta Berlin, based in Cyprus, said: “We are an initiative to break Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million people in Gaza. Our mission has not changed and this is not going to be the last flotilla.”

This comes after the death of nine activists when Israeli commandos raided the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ that planned to breach the Gaza blockade.

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