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Gaza flotilla: Israel accused of ‘sabotaging’ Irish aid ship Rachel Corrie
06-04-2010, 12:58 PM,
#1
Gaza flotilla: Israel accused of ‘sabotaging’ Irish aid ship Rachel Corrie
Quote:Pro-Palestinian campaigners behind the latest seaborne attempt to break the blockade on the Hamas-controlled enclave said that they had lost all contact with the vessel.

The Free Gaza Movement said that it assumed Israel must have sabotaged systems on board the ship, whose passengers include a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a former UN assistant secretary-general.

As a result they plan to pull it back to port and pack it with celebrities and journalists, in a direct challenge to Israel.

The cargo ship, laden with building supplies, cement, medical and educational equipment and wheelchairs as well as Irish and Malaysian activists, set off on Saturday despite warnings from Israel that it would halt any attempt to break the blockade.

On Monday nine people were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish-registered Mavi Marmara, which was part of a flotilla of six ships attempting to dock at Gaza.

Named after a 23-year-old American activist who was crushed to death by a bulldozer during a protest in Gaza in 2003, the Rachel Corrie was nearing the coast when the systems went down.

Those on board include Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Nobel Peace laureate and founder of the Northern Ireland Peace People and Denis Halliday, a retired Irish diplomat who was once United Nations assistant secretary-general.

Audrey Bomse of the Free Gaza Movement said: “The situation is we lost all contact with the boat.

“We assume this was sabotage by the Israelis."

She went on: “As a result of these threats, we're going to pull Rachel Corrie into a port, add more high-profile people on board, and insist that journalists from around the world also come with us.

“We're hoping communications get turned back on so we can inform them of the decision.”

It is thought organisers are considering sending another boat alongside the Rachel Corrie if communications are not restored.

Yesterday the ship was about 250 miles from the spot in international waters where the six boats were boarded in Monday's raid by Israeli commandos.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7802608/Gaza-flotilla-Israel-accused-of-sabotaging-Irish-aid-ship-Rachel-Corrie.html
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