Saturday, June 5, 2010


Breaking News, Global Research, Montreal

Latest news communicated to Global Research directly from the Rachel Corrie MV in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Irish-flagged ship Rachel Corrie MV which is sailing towards the Gaza Coastline in international waters has, as of  3.15am GMT, June 5th, been approached by three Israeli patrol boats. No action has as yet been been taken by the patrol boats. The ship is reported to be some 50 km. off the Gaza coastline.

Message from Matthias Chang, head of the Malaysian delegation:

9:30am (KL Time) - Three Israeli patrol boats are now following Rachel Corrie. (2.30am GMT)

10:00am (KL Time) - Israeli boats coming towards our ship. Stay calm. Send out message. (3.00am GMT)

Last contact, 10:35am (KL Time) - They have jammed our radar. (3.35 GMT)

(Note: KL Time approximately 5-6 hours ahead of Rachel Corrie)

Please spread far and wide .."

According the the Jerusalem Post, the Malaysian representative of the Perdana Global Peace Organization on board the Rachel Corrie:

"stated on its website Saturday morning that the ship's passengers had agreed to let an international force search the ship, before it proceeds to Gaza. 

The statement said that, while the activists rejected Israel's right to blockade Gaza, the activists 'request and invite for an independent international body, preferably inspectors from the the United Nations to board the ship and do the necessary to certify as to the nature of the cargo on board.'"

LATEST: The Rachel Corrie MV was boarded by the Israeli Navy close to Gaza at about 5.50am local time. The passengers are said to be under arrest.

11.00am GMT  The passengers and crew are unharmed. Below is the press statement of the Maylasian Minstry of Foreign Affairs

Press Release by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia:

Malaysia strongly demands Israel to ensure the safety of all the humanitarian activists onboard the cargo vessel MV Rachel Corrie that was seized by the Israeli Defence Force early morning of 5 June 2010.

Malaysia also demands for Israel not to take any drastic and violent military action on the unarmed passengers of the Rachel Corrie.

All the humanitarian activists on board the Rachel Corrie should be given the necessary assistance to ensure their safety. Malaysia also calls on Israel to ensure a safe passage for the vessel to Gaza to deliver the humanitarian cargo. In this regard, Malaysia urges the International Community to persuade Israel to allow the humanitarian vessel to reach Gaza safely.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the developments as there are six Malaysians on board the Rachel Corrie.

Dato' Sri Anifah Aman

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia

5 June 2010

ABC News Australia.

Includes statement by IDF. "why do it the illegal way?"
she said. "There is a marine blockade around Gaza, and not for just the fun of it."

Israeli forces have seized an Irish-owned ship bound for Gaza, boarding the Rachel Corrie close to the Gaza shore.

"The ship has been boarded and there was full compliance from the crew and passengers on board," a spokeswoman for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said.

The IDF says no helicopters were used and there were no reports of violence.
It says the boat will be brought to Ashdod Port where goods will be inspected and transferred to Gaza via land crossings.

The move came after the Rachel Corrie refused to respond to four requests from the navy to head for the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, and stayed its course for the Gaza Strip.

The Irish-owned vessel - named after American pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003 - has 11 passengers on board.

It is carrying tonnes of aid for Gaza, including cement, which Israel bans because of concerns it could be used to produce weapons.

Before the boat was seized, IDF spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich told the group they must come to Israel if they want the aid to make it to Gaza.

"If the goal of this flotilla, or this boat specifically, is to bring material into Gaza then we have no problem, but why do it the illegal way?" she said.

"There is a marine blockade around Gaza, and not for just the fun of it. Only six months ago we found a civilian ship coming from Iran here to Ashdod Port filled with munitions and weaponry."

The apparently peaceful ending to the standoff comes just five days after the Israeli naval commandos raided another aid ship heading for Gaza.

The operation left nine foreign activists dead and scores wounded, including seven Israeli soldiers.
emphasis added by Global Research

On board the ship, which is carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, are former UN Assistant Secretary-General Denis Halliday, Malaysian member of Parliament Mohd Nizar bin Zakaria and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Malaysian barrister Matthias Chang.  Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research Editor


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