The MV Rachel Corrie was seized by Israeli forces this morning. According to Free Gaza.org, she was within 40 miles of Gaza when the second IDF warning was issued, she is now headed to Ashdod.
The humanitarian aid ship carried activists from Ireland and Malaysia. Earlier in the day, they issued the following statement:
THE peace activists aboard the MV Rachel Corrie bound for Gaza have unanimously agreed to proceed with their voyage to Gaza. This is to enable them to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people of Gaza, of which the cargo on board the MV Rachel Corrie, belong to.
It is also to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the various donors of the goods who wished to see the aid being delivered directly to Gaza and to the people of Gaza and not through any third party. The peace activists consider the unilateral siege imposed on Gaza as being illegal, and any attempt to stop the delivery of such aid as crime against humanity that violates international law, and accepted norms?and practices of the civilised world.
All activists on board requests that they be given safe passage to deliver the cargo on board bound for Gaza.
The peace activists also wholeheartedly declare that they all comprise of unarmed civilians. The cargo on board the MV Rachel Corrie is void of any weapons or any apparatus that may be used for harmful purposes.
In light of concerns by certain quarters i.e. the Israeli authorities, the activists have therefore unanimously agreed to allow for the inspection of the cargo on board the MV Rachel Corrie. They 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.
Issued on behalf of the peace activists by the Perdana Global Peace? Organisation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Israel refused this offer of a check on cargo by the UN and instead shadowed the boat for hours, jamming all communications until moving in to seize the ship.
As we follow this news, we also honor Rachel Corrie – and learn from her. Her diaries and letters from Palestine can be read here.
Video: Footage from Rachel’s interview conducted by Middle East Broadcasting Company on March 14th, 2003, two days before she was murdered by the Israeli Defense Forces.