• October 29, 2008

Dignity boat arrives in Gaza despite Israeli threats

Dignity boat arrives in Gaza despite Israeli threats

The Free Gaza Movement has announced that their third boat, the SS Dignity carrying 27 crew and passengers arrived in Gaza at 8:10 local time, in spite of Israeli threats to stop them. In the pouring rain, the boat pulled into the port amid cheers from the people of Gaza and tears from the passengers.

One of the organizers, Huwaida Arraf cheered, “Once again we”ve been able to defy an unjust and illegal policy while the rest of the world is too intimidated to do anything. Our small boat is a huge cry to the international community to follow in our footsteps and open a lifeline to the people of Gaza.”

Mairead Maguire, the winner of the 1976 Nobel peace prize and one of the passengers aboard the SS Dignity, stated: “The people of Gaza are part of our human family. The Israeli government cannot cut off Gaza forever. We will come again and again until we reach our family. We go to visit our family, and the Israeli government has no right to stop us.”

As the Dignity boat was about a half hour from Gaza, two Israeli naval boats appeared and interfered with the boat”s radar and the sat phone, according to the Free Gaza Movement.

The Israeli premier along with his foreign minister and war minister had threatened few weeks ago that this time the boat would not be allowed to reach Gaza.

“The first time, we wanted to prevent a provocation, but if it is to become a routine, then we will have to make it clear we will not allow it,” a senior Israeli official said.
Egypt also prevented the sailing of a similar humanitarian ship a few weeks ago from Alexandria to Gaza.

In a press statement received by the PIC, MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, stated before the arrival of the anti-siege boat that the Israeli threats would never discourage the activists from reaching Gaza and that they were insistent on challenging the Israeli siege.