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Ship to Gaza activists taken to Israeli port

The Local · 21 Oct 2012, 08:43

Published: 21 Oct 2012 08:43 GMT+02:00

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The Estelle was boarded by Israeli forces at 10.15 CET on Saturday morning and arrived in the port of of Ashdod at 21.52, according to Marinetraffic.com.

Some of the eleven Swedes among the activists onboard Estelle have been given access to Swedish embassy staff, according to the TT news agency.

"We have very briefly been able to talk with most of the Swedes. They have said that are feeling fine and look fine. That is the most important thing," said Mats Samuelsson at the foreign ministry.

According to media reports the activists, which include MPs, academics, artists and writers from several countries, all be given deportation orders to sign or appeal within 72 hours.

Israeli navy surrounded and boarded the Estelle on Saturday morning, according to reports from the crew which were later confirmed by an Israeli government spokesperson.

Israel maintains that the interception was "peaceful and legal", according to a Twitter statement by a defence forces spokesperson.

This has however been disputed by the Ship to Gaza movement, which claims that electric pistols were used by the navy forces.

Mikael Löfgren at Ship to Gaza told The Local on Saturday that contact was lost with the crew shortly after the troops boarded the vessel.

The incident occurred in international waters around fours hours from the Estelle's stated destination, Gaza City.

The Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has been in place since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election in 2006.

Israel maintains that the blockade is necessary to limit rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, while legal opinion on the blockade remains divided.

Story continues below…

A UN investigative committee in September 2011 concluded in the Palmer Report that the naval blockade is legal, although the United Nations Human Rights Council and the International Committee of the Red Cross have called the blockade illegal.

Ship to Gaza is part of the Freedom Flotilla which aims to raise awareness by attempting to break Israel's sea blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Two years ago at the first attempt to reach Gaza by sea, a Turkish vessel in the flotilla was boarded by Israeli soldiers resulting in the death of nine activists.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:14 October 21, 2012 by asee
God Bless you all courageous people. History will remember you as brave swedes who risk their lives for innocent people against Israeli oppression.
10:17 October 21, 2012 by Beavis
apart from these 11 swedish do-gooder suckers onboard there is also members of sinn fein/ira as well as other members of organised crime from other countries. The "peace" ship is a front for something far more sinister-arms deals and guerilla warfare training. Best off the Isrealis sink this boat next time it enters its waters
10:18 October 21, 2012 by prince T
There is nothing courageous about what tthey have done. courage is going to taking aids to syria or somalia. they have only succeeded in 15 minutes of fame. what is courageious in people getting billions of dollars in aids that would be converted to making bombs. I do not think so.
13:42 October 21, 2012 by occassional
The ridiculous left wing bourgeoisie never fail to amuse with their hare-brained ideals. Shouldn't these middle aged men be home assembling model ships instead of playing Pirates and Nobles on the high seas? Why doesn't Israel sort of torpedo them lightly?

And sorry assee but how could you ever put "brave" and "Swedes who risk their lives" in the same sentence? "Don't know much about history, do you?"-as Sam Cooke said to the vicar.
15:41 October 21, 2012 by Eric1
Either these people are very naive or just bigots.
17:25 October 21, 2012 by johan rebel
Do any of these heroes have a proper job that requires them to actually work for a living, or is antisemitism a paid fulltime profession nowadays?
18:08 October 21, 2012 by JOHNATAN

they could send the goods through Erez pass or Rafah passwithout problems, but they look for political provocations , the humanitarian aid is not part of their agenda.

21:38 October 21, 2012 by GLO
Pro-Terrorist group, wants to get people to think they are good guys, sorry....
21:38 October 21, 2012 by zeulf
Electric Pistols " OH NO shades of Buck Rogers; Hope they are onboard with the Peace Rocket from Gaza. they would be a big help there too.

Tell me once again that the Israelies are the majority oppressing those poor

Jordanians / PalastiniansSyrian/ Lebanese/Eygeptian... every one needs to live in peace. trade melons with your neighbor and You might not blame him/her/ (Hen) for all the problems in the world or your own Quarter.
21:40 October 21, 2012 by engagebrain
Given the current state of the Middle East, a ship to Gaza rather the Syria is like listening to a woman being beaten to death while worrying about a tomato stain on your best shirt.

Get some kind of a grip on who is killing whom.
21:48 October 21, 2012 by Iraniboy
If only we engage our brain for half a minute we realize that it is only Red crescent that can help during the wars. That's why nobody sent humanitarian ships to Gaza during Israel-Gaza war and they won't do that for Syria either. But Gaza is not at war. It is a story of a people who are closed to the world so they starve to death!
22:02 October 21, 2012 by bcterry
"It is a story of a people who are closed to the world so they starve to death! "

Well then, why don't you link us up to just how many Palestinians have "starved to death" in Gaza, complete with documented facts for proof.

"Starved to death" are your words, now either you can provide us with that information, or your simply lying.
23:03 October 21, 2012 by Iraniboy
It's not my words bcterry. It was inittiated by Israeli human rights activists and reported by Haaretz www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/2-279-calories-per-person-how-israel-made-sure-gaza-didn-t-starve.premium-1.470419 The choice is clear. It is the question of being human or inhuman!
23:38 October 21, 2012 by bcterry
Your words were they are "starving to death".

Your link says nothing of the sort.

You cannot provide factual information to back it up, therefore, your a liar.

It could simply not be more clear.

Where i come from, a man's integrity means everything.
08:20 October 22, 2012 by Alexey-nsk
"useful idiots" (C)

V.I. Ulyanov-Lenin
10:06 October 22, 2012 by smilingjack
it should read they were boarded, tasered, beaten, then taken to port.

how dare anyone challenge the supreme rulers of the world? "gods chosen ones?". I can never stop laughing when I hear that one.

bcberry where you come from is a land of delusion and make believe. Oh king Solomon you are soooo great. Yep and so was merlin, king arthur, dragons and the easter bunny.

sums up judaism and all religions in a nutshell. bulls****.
13:43 October 22, 2012 by bcterry
"bcberry where you come from is a land of delusion and make believe."

It's pretty the much the standard with all those i know.

Obviously you wouldn't fit in.
15:51 October 23, 2012 by Uncle
Brilliant bcterry

Iranilie claims that palestinians are starving and then gives a link where is called how Israel made sure that Gaza DIDN'T starve, in spite of the fact that most of palestinian authority money goes to iranian weaponry and instructors.

19:31 October 23, 2012 by Skåne-American
"...sums up judaism and all religions in a nutshell. bulls****. "

But the Islamic Fundamentalists running Gaza are still cool, right? Just makin' sure.
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