Israel Blocks Gaza Exodus Attempt
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
On Tuesday, an IDF statement said "the Israeli Navy apprehended a Palestinian boat with approximately 17 Palestinians that attempted to breach the legal naval blockade. After a search of the boat and the Palestinians, the boat (was) towed to the Israeli Navy base in Ashdod."
Passengers onboard were illegally arrested and detained. International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza members sought help from international human rights groups to ensure their safety.
Gazans are suffering under 11 years of illegal Israeli blockade, along with repeated incidents of IDF violence, wars at Israel's discretion, and other ruthless practices against the entire population.
The intercepted vessel carried 17 Great March of Return wounded Palestinians, along with patients suffering serious illnesses and students. Individuals onboard weren't named to "ensure protection against potential Israeli aggression," according to mission co-organizer Alaa al-Battah, saying:
The exodus attempt was "part of our efforts to peacefully resist and break the siege on Gaza. It is also a continuation of the demonstrations for the right of return of Palestinians."
Co-organizer Salah Abdul-Ati added: "The trip (carried) the hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people for freedom."
Israel's blockade is part of its longstanding persecution of defenseless Palestinian civilians, Gazans harmed most of all, living under oppressive concentration camp conditions, enduring a humanitarian crisis, worsening over time.
Four Israeli warships intercepted the exodus vessel 14 nautical miles from shore, sailing for Limassol, Cyprus.
Passengers had valid passports. Wounded individuals onboard pre-arranged to receive medical treatment in Turkey.
According to another co-organizer Ramadan al-Hayek, hundreds of Gazans aboard more than 30 fishing boats accompanied the exodus vessel supportively up to around six nautical miles from shore.
Fifteen boats exceeded nine nautical miles, halted by Israeli live fire. Break the Siege committee spokesman Adham Abu Selmeyeh said:
"This bid is a scream to the whole world that the Gaza seaport should again carry passengers and goods to Haifa and Jaffa. It is a scream again that the Gaza's people will not afford the life under blockade."
Trump regime Zionist zealot Jason Greenblatt disgracefully tweeted: "Shame on all involved in inciting the so called 'reverse flotilla.' "
"Hamas treats this like a play being acted out for a live media audience. But these are real lives Hamas is cynically risking in a grim bid to hold on to power."
On Tuesday, two boats attempted to break Israel's illegal blockade, the fate of the second one with around a dozen onboard unclear.
Neither vessel had a chance to reach freedom, Israel holding all Palestinians hostage to its ruthlessness.
Separately on Tuesday, Israeli Ziofascist minister Yuval Steinitz maliciously said "I do not rule out the possibility of conquering Gaza and destroying it once and for all."
He suggested escalation of slow-motion genocide on the Strip to industrial scale.
The world community remains silent, failing to condemn his disgraceful remark or do anything to help long-suffering Palestinians - supporting occupation harshness by not holding Israel accountable for decades of Nuremberg-level high crimes.
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