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Swedish Gaza flotilla ship sabotaged: report

Published: 28 Jun 2011 11:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Jun 2011 11:39 GMT+02:00

The ship scheduled to carry the Swedish activists in the Ship to Gaza aid flotilla at the end of the week has been sabotaged in its berth in Greece, the organisation reported on Monday.

The group has reported that the ship Juliano has been sabotaged while berthed in Piraeus harbour, in Greece.

“It is time for the international community to put their foot down and say: It’s enough!” said Swedish spokesperson Mattias Gardell in a statement on Monday.

According to Mikael Löfgren, press coordinator of the organisation, it is not known who was behind the attack in which hostile divers destroyed the propeller housing and severed the two propeller axles beneath the boat.

“We didn’t catch anyone in the act, so we can’t be 100 percent sure, but we have our suspicions,” said Löfgren to The Local.

Löfgren said that the only thing they could be sure of was that the perpetrators would be representing those who don’t want them to succeed in their mission.

And within the Norwegian organisation, who are co-owners of the ship, they are thinking along the same lines.

“All we know is that Israel is doing everything in its power to slow us down,” said Norwegian spokesperson Torstein Dahle to Norwegian daily Dagbladet.

Investigations carried out by Ship To Gaza’s own divers show that the damage can be repaired in time for the ship’s planned departure at the end of the week. But according to Löfgren it will cost €12,000 ($17,000) -15,000 to fix.

According to Gardell's statement, the organisation suspects that foreign powers are exerting pressure on Greece to delay the flotilla's passage.

And if this is a matter of foreign agents operating on Greek soil, he thinks the international community should act, while Mikael Löfgren argued that the solution was simple.

“It is not so much a question of dealing with the sabotage to our boat. The impending question is really to urge Israel to end the blockade - then our problem would disappear by itself,“ Löfgren told The Local.

The ship Juliano is jointly owned by the Swedish, Norwegian and Greek Ship to Gaza organisations. It is one of the smallest boats in the Freedom Flotilla and has room for 25 passengers.

According to earlier statements from the organisation, 20 Swedes will take part in the action, among which will be Swedish thriller writer Henning Mankell, an MP and a midwife.

The flotilla is the second international operation put together by the Freedom Flotilla organisation after a prior attempt to sail to Gaza in May 2010 was prevented by the intervention of armed Israeli forces, resulting in the death of nine activists and prompting international condemnation of Israel.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:56 June 28, 2011 by Extranjero
Mr Mankell is planning to perform a crimanal act, isn´t he?
13:32 June 28, 2011 by stenhuggaren
No. The Flotilla's aims and intentions are entirely in accordance with international law.
14:17 June 28, 2011 by prince T
A man has got to do what a man has got to do. Let them go, dont beg them not to
14:41 June 28, 2011 by millionmileman
If Henning Mankell was on board he would he may want to take a queue from Agatha Christie's Poirot.

THE BUTLER DID IT!
15:25 June 28, 2011 by bubbagump
Had Israel done it, the damage would not be repairable within one week.
16:12 June 28, 2011 by prince T
I doubt if they would allowed the cracy journey again to take place again. If they do a welcoming party will be waiting for them organised by Israel. Hamas might be busy supressing her people when the boat arrives
17:42 June 28, 2011 by astra2thor6
I recommend that all who support the next Gaza Flotilla watch "The One About Hamas" on Youtube. It's amusing, but unfortunately true!
17:48 June 28, 2011 by Roy E
A ship of fools.
19:31 June 28, 2011 by guliver
stenhuggharen

If the flottila follow the international law then they should let our navy to check if there are weapons on board , we are in war with Hamas and we believe nobody untill we check everything by ourselves, There was a ship Karin A which was captued with weapons on board,these missiles are pointed against my village and other villages around Gaza in the Israeli side,they shot it on us allready for 9 years.

The Goods can be transfered through Ashdod port or through Rafah cross in Eygpt

also the UN secretary Banc Imun accepted that solution
20:34 June 28, 2011 by play nice
"Löfgren said that the only thing they could be sure of was that the perpetrators would be representing those who don't want them to succeed in their mission."

A freekin' genius, this guy Lofgren. Sweden should be proud.
23:00 June 28, 2011 by jackx123
some swedish dumb azes having nothing else to do. let's go to israel when hamas fires off a few rockets at them and see how they change their minds...

so hamas is an organization supported by an identified terrorist nation - iran and this makes it legitimate to breach ports in israel.

@stenhug:

international laws only applies on international waters and that's why they are called - international. wake up dude.

what you are implying is that the same penal code applies in sweden and israel - very ignorant indeed.
03:07 June 29, 2011 by cutthecrap
A shipload of fools, and misguided trouble makers, up to no good as usual.
04:35 June 29, 2011 by GLO
Sink the ship now.
10:24 June 29, 2011 by motti
Well it wasn't the French. If it had been in their interests they would have sunk it.

The Flotilla has the legal right to sail and the Israelis have the legal right to stop it.

Why would normally sane people want to support a bunch of misfit terrorists and their supporters? Even Turkey does not want it to sail, as do the majority of other governments.

Losers!
11:15 June 29, 2011 by krrodman
Swedish thinking on the Israel/Palestine issue is childish, at best. Good v Evil. Right v Wrong. The analysis is flat - concrete - two dimensional.. Stupid, at best.

Politics, middle eastern style, have always been much more complex. Allegiances shift with the desert sands. Nuance rules the day.

After the first flotilla, Turkey cut off military ties with Israel, and beat the drums of military action against Israel should any Turkish boats be boarded in the future. A second flotilla was planned. If I remember correctly, the Prime Minister of Turkey said that he would personally participate in the second flotilla.

Fast forward to the present time.....Turkey has no interest in the second flotilla. What has happened? Certainly, the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza is no better than before.

The obvious answer is that Gaza and the Palestinians is a mere side-show to the more pressing issues. The popular uprising in Syria and the subsequent mass murder of Syrian people by its own government - illegal acts supported militarily and politically by Iran - has moved Turkey away from Shiite Iran. As a result of Iran's move west into the heart of the middle east, Turkey has reconciled with Israel to combat Iran, a much more important problem than Gaza.

Watch carefully. Turkey is still allied with Hamas. As the sands shift further, Turkey will pressure Israel to find a political solution with Hamas. If successful, Turkey will have forged a political solution to the problem in Gaza AND shut Iran out of the process. Perfect.
11:59 June 29, 2011 by johnny1939
The best thing to do is to not write about these people at all. I think that maybe they sabotaged the ship themselves to get more news coverage. The damage is very minimal and our friend Mankell can easily make out a tiny check for it.
12:59 June 29, 2011 by Hagrid
@krrodman

"the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza is no better than before"?

Think again.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4088354,00.html
14:19 June 29, 2011 by krrodman
@hagrid

I was speaking about the Palestinians broadly, rather than specifically.

More to the point is that Turkey is trying to forge a compromise between Hamas and Israel in order to counter Syria/Iran. Gaza is a trivial side-show.

Or, put differently, the problem of Gaza will not be solved by a flotilla filled with utopian idealists. Rather, the best hope for a political solution to Gaza is based on a solution to the Iran problem.
15:05 June 30, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
A question to The Local:

Why did you delete my comment? Was it because I wrote what

the majority knows, that is that it is good for the Palestinians to bomb Israelis cities, but it is not good that Israelies retaliate?

Was it because I critizised Mr. Mankell and his lackeys? I will certainly not be able to sleep if you do not answer my questions.

Oh! I forgot that there is freedom of speech in Sweden and that there is no press censorship. Let us ask Vladimir Putin on this. Shall we?
02:25 July 1, 2011 by cutthecrap
A ship of fools.
14:41 July 1, 2011 by Elias06
Palestinians should negotiate a refugee statut in europe and in the arab world and leave the place cuz they are screwed and instead of getting back their lands they are losing the rest of it, israel is strong and is the 51 american state, they can do whatever they want when they want where they want for their "SECURITY", so the international aid should help in that way cuz when it comes to their lands stolen they can forget about it
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