Update on the Flotilla Ship “Spirit of Rachel Corrie”: Mission To Gaza Expected To Continue On Land

May 24, 2011 20:03 PM | Bernama

EL-ARISH, May 24 (Bernama) — The mission to send PVC pipes to Gaza is expected to continue by land following the Egyptian authorities’ decision to allow the MV Finch carrying humanitarian aid to berth and unload the cargo at El-Arish Port.

Bernama reporter Mohd Faizal Hassan via SMS text to the national news agency’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur texted: “It is understood that the Egyptian foreign minister has given permission (for the ship) to berth and unload the goods today…InsyaAllah (God willing), we will be on land.”

The MV Finch has been stranded outside El-Arish Port for a week, waiting for the Egyptian authorities to allow it to berth at the port and now the ship’s engine has broke down.

On May 16, the cargo ship carrying 12 passengers and crew members, as well as two Malaysian reporters had to cancel its plan to use the Palestinian waters to send the aid to Gaza when Israeli soldiers fired warning shots at the ship.

Mohd Faizal said at the moment, Egyptian naval vessels were near the MV Finch to control the situation as there were also Israeli naval ships in the vicinity.

The objective of breaking the siege has been pursued since Monday and the PVC pipes are expected to be sent today to Gaza via the land route.

Meanwhile, Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) in a statement said it supported the unanimous decision of all those onboard the vessel and admired their courage and determination.

“The Spirit of Rachel Corrie (registered MV Finch) has been at sea for the past 12 days and will now again attempt to break the illegal Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip,” it said.

Matthias Chang, mission leader onboard The Spirit of Rachel Corrie said they were back at the port’s waiting area with a broken steering.

“The team’s spirit is high and resolute; we have surmounted many difficulties and sabotage and came through.

“The team have upheld their dignity and the justice of their cause,” he said in a statement, faxed from his office in Kuala Lumpur.

MV Finch is skippered by a Malaysian, Captain Abdul Jalil Mansor, who is assisted by four crew members, Malaysians Zainuddin Mohamad and Mohd Jaffery Ariffin and Indian nationals Sharma Chandan Shimla and Pal Satya Prakash.

Besides the Bernama reporter, onboard are New Straits Times reporter Iskandar Alang Zainuddin, volunteer Mohd Radzillah Abdullah from Felda, Derek Graham and Jenny Graham from Ireland, and Julie Levesque from Canada.

— BERNAMA

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