New aid mission on its way to the Gaza Strip

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      The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz is reporting that another Free Gaza mission is on its way to the Gaza Strip.

      The ship set sail from Ireland and is carrying 15 activists, including Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire.

      On May 30, six ships carrying more than 600 people and aid for the Gaza Strip were stopped by Israeli forces. Violence broke out and anywhere from 9 to 16 people were killed, with dozens more injured.

      It remains unclear whether it was the activists or the Israeli soldiers who made the first act of aggression.

      In September 2009, Maguire spoke to the Straight about her experiences with the Free Gaza Movement and her thoughts on the Gaza Strip.

      “The people of Gaza are not allowed cement, building materials; children have returned to schools with no pencils and no writing material: all of these things have been prohibited by the Israelis from being allowed into Gaza,” Maguire said. “We have to break the siege of Gaza that Israel is putting on because the children are suffering.”

      In January 2006, Hamas won parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. Since then, Israel has enforced a blockade around Gaza, restricting the movement of goods, according to UN reports.

      BBC News is reporting that UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon is blaming the blockade for the deaths aboard the flotilla.

      "Had Israelis heeded to my call and to the call of the international community by lifting the blockade of Gaza, this tragic incident would not have happened," the head of the UN was quoted as saying.

      The Free Gaza Movement’s stated goals are to provide Gaza’s 1.5 million residents with aid, and to break Israel’s blockade of the territory.

      Haaretz's report states that Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen told his country's parliament, "The government has formally requested the Israeli government to allow the Irish-owned be allowed to complete its journey unimpeded and discharge its humanitarian cargo in Gaza."

      Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Force pledged to halt the latest ship, leading to speculation that another violent confrontation could occur.

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      John Alexander

      Jun 1, 2010 at 1:54pm

      "It remains unclear whether it was the activists or the Israeli soldiers who made the first act of aggression."

      You gotta be kidding! The Israeli's illegally boarded the ships in international waters - That is a textbook case of a type of aggression otherwise referred to as piracy. Passengers on the ships has the choice to either roll over or defend themselves - some seem to have chosen the later.

      Joseph B.T.

      Jun 1, 2010 at 4:04pm

      When you look at the history of Netenyahu's statements and actions made against all palestineans, it will not take long before you reach the obvious conlusion which is Idiologically, Netenyahu to the Palestinians is what Adolph Hitler was to the Jews. B. Cinton could not stand his arrogance and anti-peace stands. If it was left to him entirely, he would not hesitate for 1 second to wipe all Palestineans, women & childern included, from the face of the earth. Netenyahu is practically a terrorist with a US college degree. These are well know & documented facts about the current Israeli PM. As such, none of murdering crimes what took place on board the Tyrkish vessel by the cowardly Israeli comandos yesterday should come as surprise to any soul. The good news here is that the world community has started to see the Israeli state for what it actually is: A trrorist state.

      Rucka Ali

      Jun 2, 2010 at 11:42am

      @John Alexander

      It isn't illegal boarding, its enforcing a blockade. A legal action taken against a ship intent on breaking through a legal maritime blockade.

      Gordon Trick

      Jun 4, 2010 at 2:08pm

      It took the Irish the better part of a 1000 years to teach those miserable English interlopers that you don't just turf people off their land at the point of a sword and start settling down as if it had been yours all it's the Irish sending a ship to Gaza to help out the Palestinians. Israel says it doesn't want a confrontation - and no wonder! - but if their military fucks up as usual, I'm all for settling down with a few cases of Guinness to watch how the Irish sort out the Israelis. Unlike our leaders, they not only have balls - even their women have more balls than Stevie and Iggy! - they've got the history to prove it. This could finally start to get interesting.