Israel Extends Gaza Blockade to Greece, Canadian Boat to Gaza Challenges Political Interference
Israel extends Gaza blockade to Greece, Canadian Boat to Gaza challenges political interference
July 1, 2011 - rabble.ca
[See also the Media Co-op's Dispatches from the Tahrir as Halifax Media Co-op journalist Miles Howe sails with the Canadian Boat to Gaza and will be reporting regularly from the Tahrir.]
Crete, Greece - In an attempt by local authorities to confiscate the Canadian ship Tahrir's transit logs, it has been revealed that a Greek Ministerial order has been issued to prevent any ships from leaving ports in Greece if the destination is Gaza.
"Israel has in effect extended the illegal blockade of Gaza to Greek ports, using Greece's economic difficulties to influence the government's position," says David Heap of the Tahrir organizing committee.
After overcoming numerous last minute hurdles, the Tahrir was boarded by local port police in Agios Nicolaos, Crete. The port authorities initially attempted to take the Tahrir's official transit logs (which are required for sailing). The delegates declined to hand the documents over and marched to the local harbour master to demand an explanation. When the authorities were offered photocopies instead of the original documents, the port authorities were no longer interested in the documents.
Efforts to stop Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human from sailing have included diplomatic pressure and manipulation, economic blackmail, bureaucratic obstacles, baseless and slanderous allegations against the flotilla and the delegates, and sabotage of at least two vessels.
"The government of Israel, shamefully with the tacit support of the Harper government, is doing everything in its power to maintain the blockade. Yet we will persevere in our attempts until the blockade is lifted," says Irene McInnes of the Tahrir organizing committee.
"We remain absolutely clear that the Canadian Boat to Gaza has not been, is not, and has no intention of, breaking any laws. It is the blockade of Gaza that is illegal under international law. We have a legal and moral obligation to challenge the blockade, given the failure of the international community to act," says Dylan Penner of the organizing committee. "This is why we must continue our attempts to sail to Gaza: to challenge the illegal and immoral blockade and to equally challenge the Canadian federal government's support for it."
For biographies of delegates aboard the Tahrir visit: http://www.tahrir.ca/content/delegates-board-tahrir