5 October 2016
- Yesterday afternoon, we heard that the Women’s Boat to Gaza was making good progress on the Mediterranean and the women on board were excited about meeting the people on the shores of Gaza who were waiting for them. Some Palestinians even spent the night at the beach to greet them.
At 9:58am EDT, flotilla organizers lost contact with the boat, Zaytouna-Oliva. The US Embassy confirmed that the boat was intercepted and Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Zaytouna-Oliva was boarded by members of the Israeli navy. The Israelis took control of the boat and rerouted it – under force – to the Israeli port of Ashdod. We have not had any contact with Ann Wright or the rest of the women on board, and we do not know where our friends are.
It is important to know that this happened in international waters. Not only are Israel’s actions illegal, but they set a terrifying precedent, giving a green light for other nations to attack civilian ships in international waters. The Zaytouna-Oliva was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for their attacks, would claim that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli.
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