Let's all pray for the well being of all the crew of the Spirit of Rachel Corrie
The Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) condemned in the strongest possible terms the act of aggression by the Israeli Naval Forces when they fired on the humanitarian mission bound for the Gaza Strip.
The Spirit of Rachel Corrie ship, a humanitarian cargo vessel, officially known as FINCH came under attack one nautical mile inside Gazan waters at 6.35, this morning. We urge the international community to join with us in condemning this illegal, barbaric and uncivilised act.
The cargo ship was inside the Palestinian territorial waters and had broken the siege when the Israeli Naval Forces intercepted the ship and ordered the Captain to retreat. The first shot was fired across the bow and followed by several more shots. One of the shots almost hit a crew member, Mohd Jaffrey Ariffin, causing others to panic and hide for safety.
During the ordeal all those on board feared for their lives. The inhumane behaviour by the Israeli Naval Forces continued, despite the ship already turning towards the Egyptian waters.
In the communication between the Captain and the Israeli Forces it was clearly stated that the ship was unarmed, and only carrying humanitarian aid. Despite that, the Israeli Naval Forces were not dissuaded and continued to shoot directly at the ship when it was leaving.
As far as PGPF and the anti-war activists are concerned, we had ‘Broken the Illegal Israeli Siege’ by being one nautical mile inside Palestinian territorial waters. The Gazan fishermen and other locals witnessed the event from the shoreline as they had gathered to welcome the siege breaking vessel and receive the aid mission.
PGPF acknowledge the sensitive manner in which Egyptian authorities have dealt with the situation. The vessel, under the guidance of the Egyptian navy has made its way to the port of El Arish. PGPF are currently being assisted in making arrangements for the transfer of the aid to Gaza by land via the Rafah Crossing.
We left the scene and entered Egyptian waters when the lives of unarmed civilians on board were endangered by this act of violence. Mindful of Israeli’s numerous killings of civilians at yesterday’s Nakba commemorations, the vessel withdrew to protect those on board from becoming victims of another act of terrorism by Israel.
Perdana Global Peace Foundation
1359 (Jordan Time) 16 May 2011