Aid ship says determined to finish Gaza mission despite Israeli attack

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who described the vessel as Irish-owned, said it should be allowed to finish its mission.

Aid ship says determined to finish Gaza mission despite Israeli attack

Another Gaza aid ship is determined to finish its mission despite Israeli plan to attack and expects to reach the point where Israeli commandos raided a flotilla later this week, a crew member said.

The MV Rachel Corrie, a converted merchant ship bought by activists set off on Monday from Malta. The Rachel Corrie, a Freedom Flotilla ship named after a US peace activist girl was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer demolishing Palestinian homes in Gaza in 2003.

It is carrying 15 activists including a northern Irish Nobel Peace laureate and expects to be at the point of Monday's deadly raid on a Turkish aid convoy between Friday evening and Saturday morning, crew member Derek Graham said.

The Israeli navy stormed a Turkish ferry leading a six-ship convoy on Monday, killing nine people. The killings have sparked a world outcry and condemnations of Israel, except for US.

"We had a meeting after what happened on Monday morning and we were more determined than ever to continue with our mission," Graham told Irish state broadcaster RTE on Wednesday.

He said he would be inform Israeli authorities of the exact positions of the ship's passengers and urge those on board to remain peaceful.

"I will advise the passengers and crew to sit quietly with their hands shown so they cannot do like they did on Monday and claim we attacked them," he said. "We are a peaceful mission."

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who described the vessel as Irish-owned, said it should be allowed to finish its mission.

Passengers on the Turkish cruise ship said the operation was heralded by live fire as the troops abseiled on to the deck.

“The ship turned into a lake of blood,” said Nilufer Cetin, a Turkish activist who hid with her infant in her cabin. An Israeli legislator of Palestinian origin, Hanit Zoabi from Nazareth, said the operation lasted an hour and she saw five bodies.

“It was clear from the size of the force that boarded the ship that the purpose was not to halt the voyage but to cause the largest number of fatalities to prevent future initiatives.”



Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Haziran 2010, 14:56
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