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Jewish boat leaves Cyprus for Gaza in an attempt to break illegal blockade watch

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    FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus — A boat carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Europe and the United States on Sunday set sail from Cyprus bound for Gaza, in a bid to run Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territory, an AFP reporter said.

    The boat, named 'Irene', left the port of Famagusta in the Turkish-held north of the divided eastern Mediterranean island in the early afternoon carrying eight activists, three of whom are crew members, and two journalists.

    Reuven Moskovitz, an 82-year-old passenger who survived the Nazi Holocaust, told AFP he felt duty-bound to attempt the voyage, which is expected to take around 36 hours.

    "It is a sacred duty for me, as a (Holocaust) survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children," Moskovitz said.

    Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli soldier and crew member on the British-flagged sailing boat, said they were not looking for a confrontation.

    "We have a policy of non-violence and non-confrontation," he said.

    "But if the Israeli army stops the boat, we will not help them to take it to Ashdod," he said, referring to a port in southern Israel where other blockade runners have been taken after being stopped by the navy.

    Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has repeatedly warned that Israel will intercept any ship nearing Gaza, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.

    "The boat's cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children's toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza's fishing communities and prosthetic limbs for orthopaedic medical care in Gaza's hospitals," said a statement from the organisers, Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

    It quoted Richard Kuper, a member of the organising group, as saying that "the Jewish Boat to Gaza is a symbolic act of protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the siege of Gaza, and a message of solidarity to Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and justice.

    "Israeli government policies are not supported by all Jews." said Kuper. "We call on all governments and people around the world to speak and act against the occupation and the siege."

    In May, Israeli forces tried to stop a six-ship flotilla heading for Gaza but the raid went badly wrong, and nine Turkish activists were killed, prompting a wave of international condemnation.

    Last week, a report by the UN Human Rights Council found there was clear evidence to back prosecutions against Israel for killing and torture when its troops stormed the lead ship, the Mavi Marmara.

    In a scathing report, it also threw out Israel's argument that the aid activists were violent, thereby justifying the decision by Israeli soldiers to open fire.

    Israel rejected the report out of hand as "biased" and "one-sided."

    Israel says its commandos only resorted to force after they were attacked when they rappelled onto the deck of the Mavi Marmara, but pro-Palestinian activists on board say the soldiers opened fire as soon as they landed.

    A separate inquiry into the incident has been set up by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and several more inquiries into the raid are also being pursued by Israel and Turkey.

    AFP
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    :facepalm: The blockade isn't illegal.
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    Good on them. I wish them all the best. The illegal and barbaric blockade must be stopped.
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    I have respect for anyone who stands up to the illegal actions of Israel :pal:
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    God Be With Them
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    I called in Pavelow and chopper might get nuke soon.
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    'Irene' means peace in Greek, fyi.
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    (Original post by Velisarius)
    'Irene' means peace in Greek, fyi.
    ohhh...good to know.

    Has Israel commented on this yet?
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    I hope they dont get attacked & i wish them the best of luck
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    (Original post by Iron Mike)
    Good on them. I wish them all the best. The illegal and barbaric blockade must be stopped.
    This
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    Interesting to see how this turns out.. :erm:
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    I hope their journey is successful. I particularly commend the presence of the 82-year old survivor of the Holocaust, it's very symbolic. Hopefully this immoral blockade will be terminated.
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    (Original post by mathew551)
    I hope their journey is successful. I particularly commend the presence of the 82-year old survivor of the Holocaust, it's very symbolic. Hopefully this immoral blockade will be terminated.
    "It is a sacred duty for me, as a [Holocaust] survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children," Reuven Moskovitz said.
    ^^^^^
    A truly noble man. And lets not foget Rami Elhanan, 60, an Israeli whose daughter Smadar died in a suicide bombing at a shopping centre in Jerusalem in 1997.

    He said reconciliation with the Palestinians was the surest path to peace.

    "Those 1.5 million people in Gaza are victims exactly as I am," he said.
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    Good job, let's hope the Israelis don't go on a murder spree again...
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    (Original post by Iron Mike)
    "It is a sacred duty for me, as a [Holocaust] survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children," Reuven Moskovitz said.
    ^^^^^
    A truly noble man. And lets not foget Rami Elhanan, 60, an Israeli whose daughter Smadar died in a suicide bombing at a shopping centre in Jerusalem in 1997.

    He said reconciliation with the Palestinians was the surest path to peace.

    "Those 1.5 million people in Gaza are victims exactly as I am," he said.
    Exactly. So let's hope that this pursuit can accelerate the peace process, and cut the death toll for both sides.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    :facepalm: The blockade isn't illegal.
    Disproportionate effect on civilians over military as concluded by independent investigation => Illegal
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    As long as they are trying to aid the people of gaza and not just some publicity stunt Im ok with it
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    (Original post by Left Hand Drive)
    As long as they are trying to aid the people of gaza and not just some publicity stunt Im ok with it
    Madonna isn't on borad you know.
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    (Original post by i_<3_you)
    in the Turkish-held north of the divided eastern Mediterranean island
    :facepalm: Why can't these reporters simply say, 'North Cyprus?'
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    The israelis know the world is watching this one they will be on their best behaviour
 
 
 
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