BREAKING NEWS: Egypt enforces Israeli Embargo on Gaza: Humanitarian Ship to Gaza Stranded in Egyptian territorial waters

Global Research, May 19, 2011

MONTREAL. May 18, 3.21am EDT, Global Research. The Spirit of Rachel Corrie (officially known as FINCH) carrying a humanitarian cargo to Gaza was attacked by an Israeli naval patrol within the so-called Palestinian Security Zone on May 15.

After a shoot to kill with automatic weapons by the Israeli navy, the ship changed course and was escorted by an Egyptian navy patrol into Egyptian territorial waters, within a short distance of the port of Al Arish.

The Rachel Corrie mission is an initiative of Malaysia`s Perdana Global Peace Foundation chaired by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. It was named after the courageous American activist crushed and killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while trying to prevent the demolition of another Palestinian home. She died at 23.

The understanding reached between the Mission and the Egyptian authorities on May 16th was that the ship would be allowed into the port of Al Arish and that the humanitarian cargo for Gaza would be transported by land to the Egypt-Gaza border crossing.

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie is carrying 7.5 kilometers of UPVC (plastic) sewage pipes to help restore the devastated sewerage system in Gaza.

The Egyptian authorities are sitting on their decision. Since May 16th, the Spirit of Rachel Corrie is stranded in Egyptian territorial waters of the coast of the port of Al Arish. The ship is running out of water and food. It is prevented from docking in the port of Al Ashir.

The Egyptian government has been contacted through diplomatic channels. The post-Mubarak government, which claims to be committed to “democracy”, is collaborating with Tel Aviv. Cairo’s resolve is to serve Israeli interests and enforce the embargo on Gaza by both land and sea.

Israel is portrayed as the victim.  According to the Jerusalem Post, “Israel was expected to file a protest with the UN Security Council on Wednesday over a Malaysian ship… that tried to run the sea blockade of the Gaza Strip Monday night, but was turned back by the navy.”

The decision by Egypt to prevent the boat from docking in the port and enabling the mission to proceed by land to Gaza is deliberate.

Global Research which is a partner in the PGPF mission has been in communication with the ship by satellite phone. At 2.30am EDT, the Spirit of Rachel Corrie mission informed the Egyptian authorities that if it continues to prevent the mission from transporting the humanitarian cargo by land, it will have no other choice but to lift anchor and direct itself by sea to the Gaza coastline, transiting through the Palestinian Security Zone.

We call upon the international community, the United Nations and the governments of neighboring Arab states to put pressure on Cairo and allow the humanitarian mission to proceed by land.


Earlier Report

BREAKING NEWS: Israel’s Attack on Humanitarian Ship to Gaza.

Updated Report
– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-16
They are shooting all over the place. We can’t continue … They circled our ship twice and fired across our ship. Machine guns. No one was injured…
Global Research Articles by Michel Chossudovsky


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