Fresh from its assault on the Freedom Flotilla, Israel targeted another aid ship last week.
The Rachel Corrie was sailing in international waters—but that didn’t stop Israeli forces from seizing it and detaining those on board.
The boat was carrying humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, for Gaza.
Those on board included former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Denis Halliday. He resigned from this position in 1998 to protest at the terrible impact of sanctions on Iraq’s people.
Derek Graham was the ship’s captain. Israel deported him and his wife Jenny back to Ireland on Monday of this week.
“They shouted at me to get face down on the floor, hands on the back of your head,” he said. “The ship was taken in international waters—we didn’t violate Israeli waters, Israeli laws or maritime laws.”
Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Corrigan-Maguire was also on the boat. “Our whole purpose was to break the siege of Gaza and bring humanitarian aid,” she said.
“When we were kidnapped by the Israeli navy we were very sad, for the people that have lost their lives and the people of Gaza. We had lifted their hopes and then they were dashed—but we will be back.”
The boat was named after pro-Palestinian activist and US citizen Rachel Corrie.
An Israeli bulldozer crushed her to death in Gaza in 2003.
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