Palestine: Israeli Bulldozers Blamed for Cutting Off Gaza Telecoms:Reports are appearing online of a total communication blackout in Gaza. On Twitter, users are blaming Israeli bulldozers for the outage. Here is part of the conversation.
الجرافات الاسرائيلية تتسبب بقطع شبكة الاتصالات عن قطاع غزة نشر الـيـوم (آخر تحديث) 09/08/2011 الساعة 23:22 غزة- معا- تسببت الجرافات الاسرائيلية، مساء اليوم الثلاثاء، بقطع شبكة الاتصالات عن قطاع غزة. وقالت مصادرنا في غزة “ان الجرافات الاسرائيلية تسببت بقطع شبكة الاتصالات عن قطاع غزة بعد قطع خط الربط بمنطقة ناحل عوز”. واكد مراسلنا “انه وبعد [...]
انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون الله يرحم كل الشهداء Mon Aug 1, 2011 5:48AM GMT Israeli troops (file photo) Two Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the Qalandia refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials say. The Palestinian medics and security officials said on Monday that 23-year-old Mortesen Adwan [...]
The Freedom Flotilla 2 to Gaza will be missing an Irish ship, it emerged today.
The MV Saoirse has been reportedly sabotaged while at berth in the Turkish coastal town of Göcek and will now not be able to take part in the flotilla, says the Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign.
A total of 300 activists from around the world are taking part in the six-vessel flotilla to Gaza, which is aimed at breaking Israel's siege on Gaza and to deliver humanitarian aid to its population. It follows in the heels of last year's Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which ended tragically when Israeli forces boarded the flotilla after it had declined to change its course to the port of Ashdod, where Israel had promised to inspect the aid and deliver non-banned items to Gaza.
Sabotage of the MV Saoirse. Image by irishshiptogaza.org.
Nine passengers of the Comoros-flagged MV Mavi Marmara, which was part of the six-ship flotilla, were reported killed by Israeli soldiers who landed on the ship and 10 Israeli soldiers were injured.
This year's attempt, which includes nationals from Canada, the US, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Norway and the UK, among others, is a highly politicized campaign and activists are using social media creatively to encourage press coverage and global support. The US Boat to Gaza website is inviting journalists to come look at the entire boat in a press release on their homepage.
smac shares footage and photographs of the damage the Irish vessel had encountered here. He writes:
On Monday the ships 3 crew members, Shane Dillon, John Hearne and Pat Fitzgerald; along with Clr Gerry MacLochlainn, Charlie McMenamin (both from Derry) with John Mallon and Phil McCullough (both from Belfast) set sail on the MV Saoirse for re-fueling and a test run.
On the way back to port Pat Fitzgerald, ship’s engineer, noticed that something was very wrong with the boat. Upon returning to the dock the first inspections began, it was then we realised that sabotage had been done to Ireland’s boat.
The campaign reports “deep cuts inflicted onto the propeller shaft,” which was “also seriously and dangerously bent.”
This same type of sabotage was done to another vessel in Greece only days ago. This was a vicious attack on Irish property by international terrorists against a boat flying the Irish flag. The ship is so damaged it will now be unable to take part in the Flotilla. However arrangements are being made to find seats on other ships for as many Irish passengers as possible.
Fintan Lane is seen here speaking about the damage the ship suffered:
Irish Times foreign affairs correspondent Mary Fitzgerald reports:
@MaryFitzgerldIT: Irish ship due to sail in Gaza flotilla has problems with propeller. Organisers believe it may have been sabotaged. http://bit.ly/leKYKE
@MaryFitzgerldIT: Irish FM is ‘concerned' re reports Irish ship in Gaza flotilla sabotaged. Says will take ‘very serious view' if sab proved in investigation
A Facebook page, calling for a sit-in in Dublin to protest against the damage the ship has suffered, has been set up.
The page says:
The Irish Ship To Gaza have called an EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION for today in response to this outrageous act. We are calling on people to assemble at 6pm at the Spire in O'Connell Street. From there we will march to the Israeli Embassy and stage an overnight sit-in outside (so bring sleeping bags etc). We intend to shut down the Israeli Embassy!
We need this demo to be as loud as possible, so if you have drums, bodrans, whistles, whatever, please bring them along.
This act of sabotage against a peaceful humanitarian civil society mission (which has been paid for by 1000s of ordinary Irish people) must be protested in the strongest terms possible.
Like many, Egyptian Twitter user Khaled Khalil accuses Israel of bullying when he read about the sabotaging of the Irish ship:
@Kh-Khalil: #Israel bullying RT @notmytribe: Irish MV Saoirse becomes 2nd victim of sabotage, cannot sail with Gaza Flotilla http://bit.ly/jrP7dh
Israel accuses the flotilla campaign, which attempts to breach its maritime blockade of Gaza, as a “clear political provocation.”
June 29th, 2011 | Author: smac | DerryFriendsofPalestine BREAKING NEWS Irish ship to gaza has been sabotaged by underwater divers Life threatening damage has been done to the boat which could have resulted in the deaths of Irish people onboard the MV Saoirse. Press conference tomorrow at 11Am Dublin MORE TO FOLLOW THIS IS BREAKING [...]
Egypt opened its Rafah order crossing with the Gaza Strip today, allowing people to cross freely into Egypt for the first time in four years. The border, which is Gaza's main gateway to the outside world, was opened sporadically during the reign of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Following are some reactions from Twitter on this latest development.
Reporter Hannah Allam shares more details on Twitter:
restrictions on #rafah crossing: no palest. men betwn 18 and 40 w/out sp permit, students w/ proof of study in egypt ok, women all ages ok
بالنسبة لفتح معبر رفح لو انو 1 نيسان كان قلت انها كذبة .. عنجد لهلأ مو مصدقة انا !! #Gaza #Rafah #Egypt
Regarding the opening of the Rafah Crossing. Had it been announced on April 1, I would have thought it was a lie. I still cannot believe it
Also, from Gaza, Ola Anan, shares similar sentiments. She tweets:
الاخبار كلها عن فتح معبر رفح .. الي انا حاساه خبر اعلامي مش اكتر .. لازم حد فينا يجرب يسافر عشان يتأكد من التغيير ! #gaza #rafah #egypt
All the news is about the opening of the Rafah Crossing. I still feel it's news for media consumption and nothing more. One of us will have to try and travel to make sure there is a change
Palestinian Mahmoud Omar, who describes himself as a refugee in Cairo, is grateful to Egypt's revolution for making this possible:
شكرًا مصر, شعبًا وثورةً وكرامة #Egypt #Rafah
Thank you Egypt, to your people, your revolution and your dignity!
Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah asks sarcastically:
هي اسرائيل هتحاربنا امتى؟ مش الناس قالت فتح المعبر هيخلي اسرائيل تحاربنا؟ و حماس هتبعت الارهابيين بتوعها يخربوا مصر امتى؟
When will Israel wage a war on us? Haven't people said that when the Rafah Crossing opens, Israel will go to war against us? And didn't they say that Hamas will send us their terrorists to destroy Egypt. When?
Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas ended their bitter feud today, in a reconciliation deal brokered in Cairo, Egypt.
News of the deal, which will unite the Gaza Strip, which had been under Hamas' control, and the West Bank, which was under the grip of the Fatah movement, was welcomed with celebrations in Gaza.
Palestinians attend a rally celebrating the planned signing of a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, in Gaza City. Image by Nayef Hashlamoun – ALWATAN Center, copyright Demotix (04/05/2011).