When Internationals Leave Gaza
When Internationals Leave Gaza, Will You be the Ones who pay?
Gazan coastal waters, Gaza, 17:00 Wednesday 10th
September 2008 – At
high speed an Israeli gunboat rammed a Palestinian fishing vessel. The
gunboat smashed through the upper hull, careened over the top of the
fishing boat, and landed on the other side.
Extensive damage was caused to the fishing boat. The
hull was badly
damaged, virtually the entire deck area, all the equipment on it, and
the canopy above the deck were severely damaged. Unusually all of the
crew happened to be in the cabin and at the fore at the time. Had they
been on deck they would have had little chance of survival.
Via a megaphone, the gunboat crew then made the
threat that 'When the
internationals leave Gaza, you will all be made to pay.'
Human rights observers from the
International Solidarity Movement and
from the Free Gaza Movement, have recently been accompanying Gazan
Fishermen during their work. The fishermen are constantly harassed,
threatened and attacked by the Israelis who in flagrant violation of
international law and maritime law, have been attempting to impose a
no – go area 6 miles off Gaza's coast through employment of lethal
force. Incidentally and not unusually, this attack happened within
the so-called 'permitted' area.
The ISM regards
the project of accompanying the fishermen as a long
term commitment. Some of the human rights observers currently
undertaking this work are long term volunteers who will be in Gaza for