Posts Tagged ‘palestine solidarity event’
As you watch your favorite teams playing in the Euro2012 games, can you please give thought to 25 year old Mahmoud Sarsak, a skillful footballer who once played for the Palestinian National team. He urgently needs your support as he now faces death at the hands of the oppressive Israeli regime.
Mahmoud Sarsak has been held on Administrative Detention (internment) for 3 years, wihtout charge and without trail. He has been convicted of NO crime! He was on his way to play a game in the West Bank of Palestine 3 years ago he was arrested at a checkpoint and has been illegally held ever since that day. He is now reaching his 92nd day of hunger strike- the longest hunger strike undergone by a Palestinian Political prisoner. Due to the prolonged suffering to his body and immune system his health is deteriorating rapidly and his condition is now more critical than ever.
UFree Palestinian Prisoners Association and Irish Friends of Palestine urge you to support his Mahmoud Sarsak’s case immediately!
Israel should be subjected to the same criticism faced by Poland and Ukraine, who are hosting Euro 2012. It is time to end Israel’s impunity and to insist on the same standards of equality, justice and respect for international law that we demand of other states.
UFree Palestinian Prisoners Organisation urge you to take the following actions so Sarsak’s life can be saved:
1. Highlight Sarsaks case by contacting parliamentarians and Israeli embassies across the world and subject Israel to the same criticism faced by Poland and Ukraine, who are hosting Euro 2012.
2. To urge FIFA to intervene in the case, expressing grave concern regarding Sarsak’s deteriorating health. http://www.fifa.com/contact/form.html
I urge your support as we call an end to Israel’s impunity and to insist on the same standards of equality, justice and respect for international law that we demand of other states.
You can copy and send the letter below to your local MP’s and MEP’s, you can contact the Israeli embassy in your country and demand Sarsak be charged or set free!
Re: Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Sarsak deteriorating health
As the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship grips the nation I draw your attention to the plight of Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak. Once a star player in the Palestinian national team, Sarsak was jailed by Israel in 2009, as he left the Gaza Strip en route to a match. He has since been held without charge or trial. Sarsak had been on a hunger strike since 19 March 2012, after his administrative detention was once again renewed for an astonishing sixth time.
His health condition is now critical and deteriorating fast. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) have said that Sarsak could die at any time. Israel has not allowed the charity to visit him in Ramle Prison until last week. Sarsak has experienced extreme loss of muscle tissue and drastic weight loss. He frequently loses consciousness and suffers memory lapses.
On Sunday 6th of June, Israeli Prisons Service (IPS) transferred Sarsak to Assaf Harofeh hospital because of his rapid deteriorating health. This transfer was due to the inability of both Al Ramla prison hospital and Mair civil hospital to treat Sarsak’s critical health condition.
Sarsak has been interned without trial or charge for 3 years under the infamous “Unlawful Combatants Law”, which allows Israeli authorities to detain Palestinians from Gaza for an unlimited time without trial or charge.
I ask you to please call on Israel to either charge him or release him now!
The organisation voted by an overwhelming margin of 107 nations for to 14 against with 52 abstentions.
Councillor MacLochlainn said:
“This is tremendous news for the oppressed people of Palestine – hopefully it is one more step on the way towards complete freedom for the Palestinian people
“It is obviously a move, which shows the overwhelming support of their struggle for freedom, justice and for their right to statehood.
“Unfortunately, the response from the US Government has been deeply disappointing and somewhat petty by removing some $60 million in funding from UNESCO in line with overtly undemocratic US legislation passed in the 1990’s.
“Secondly, any suggestion by the US that efforts by the Palestinian people to attain recognition of their statehood at the UN or elsewhere ‘undermines peace negotiations’ is complete and utter nonsense.
“Israel has full recognition of their state internationally, despite not having clearly defined borders and this is mainly due to their ongoing seizing of Palestinian land to facilitate illegal settlements.
“It is these actions that have undermined a peace settlement, yet the US stands idly by and placates Israel at every turn.
“The ‘Arab Spring’ is an opportunity for both the US and the European Union to build new relationships of trust in a region that has been blighted by conflict and failed by the international community.
“The US and the EU must now step up to their responsibilities to confront illegal Israeli settlements and broker a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.”
For immediate release 13th July 2011:
Adams meets senior Palestinian delegation
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today led a Sinn Féin delegation,including party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Padraig MacLochlainn TD and Aengus O Snodaigh TD, in a meeting with a senior Palestinian delegation, led by Dr. Nabil Shaath, who is a leading member of Fatah, and a former Chief Negotiator and Foreign Minister and for the Palestinian Authority. Dr. Shaath is currently involved in a round of meetings across EU states in which he is advocating support for a UN resolution in support of Palestinian statehood.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking after the meeting said:
“I reiterated Sinn Féin’s support for the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian people have the right to independence and self-determination and to a viable Palestinian state.Sinn Féin supports the Palestinian people in their efforts to achieve statehood, based on the 1967 borders.”
The Sinn Féin leader also said:
“At this critical juncture in the difficult process of achieving a political settlement in that region there is an opportunity for the Irish government to take the lead in encouraging other European governments to support the Palestinian people. “The Irish government should indicate now its full support for Palestinian UN Membership in the autumn.”
Mr. Adams added:
“I have visited the Middle East. I do not underestimate the difficulties in seeking to resolve the multiplicity of issues that need to be resolved, including a viable Palestinian state; Israeli occupation of Palestinian land; the siege of Gaza; the settlements; water rights; refugees; prisoners; the Separation wall and Jerusalem. “However, with international support progress can be made.”
TO LEARN MORE VISIT SADAKA HERE TO HELP THE PALESTINIANS CLAIM UN RECOGNITION
Published on Tuesday 5 July 2011 13:40
Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn has called upon to Irish government to intervene and protect Irish citizens after an act of sabotage on board one of the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ ships put lives in grave danger.
Colr MacLochlainn and fellow traveller Charlie McMenamin have just returned from the Mediterranean where they were among twenty Irish people on board one of the ‘Freedom Flotilla ships docked in the Mediterranean sea attempting to break the Israeli blockade and get aid to Gaza.
However, their boat, the MV Saoirse, was, they believe, badly sabotaged by Israeli agents, forcing them to abandon their efforts.
Colr MacLochlainn has just returned from his second attempt to get to Gaza, having managed to board another ship in the flotilla in an attempt to get to Gaza. He then transferred to Greece where he was to board another boat to Gaza. It was not to be.
“The Greek authorities seized and raided a US boat at sea and arrested its captain, who is now in jail. Despite protests, they also impounded all other boats and subsequently announced that they were not going to allow any boats to leave Greece for Gaza. If it wasn’t for the Greek government banning boats, I would be in Gaza today.”
Colr MacLochlainn has vowed to continue his efforts to enter Gaza and colleagues are currently waiting for the Irish boat to be repaired.
“We’re very lucky they didn’t sink it,” he added. “There is no question that this was sabotage. The Israelis cut a V-shaped cut into the boat’s propeller shaft which means that shaft would have snapped at sea and went up through the ship’s hull, probably killing everyone on board. We were then contacted by a Greek boat and they had a photo of the damage done to their own boat – it showed the exact same V-shaped fault.”
Colr MacLochlainn is in no doubt that the trip could have ended in tragedy and the incident has been reported to the Turkish authorities.
“We could have sank at sea and no-one would ever have known what caused it. This was the attempted murder of twenty Irish citizens – it’s a disgrace. We need the Irish government to step up now and get the Israeli government to show respect to fellow countries and their citizens. The have no respect for any country in the world and are prepared to murder Irish citizens if we oppose their genocide in Gaza. Our government must protect us.”
July 6th 2011
Israel must answer questions on MV Saoirse
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD this morning raised the damage done to the MV Saoirse in its efforts bring much needed humanitarian aid to the besieged citizens of Gaza.
Mr. Adams asked the Taoiseach if the government had spoken with the Irish crew who were aboard the MV Saoirse to seek their account of what occurred last week and their belief that their ship was sabotaged and that the lives of Irish citizens were placed in danger.
He also asked the Taoiseach if the government has spoken to either the Israeli or Turkish authorities on this matter.
Regrettably, the Taoiseach could not answer these questions but said he was raise these matters with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and come back to the Sinn Féin President.
Speaking after Taoiseach’s Questions Mr. Adams said:
“Serious questions must be asked of the Israeli government about the events surrounding the MV Saoirse and a thorough investigation of the damage done to the Irish boat is required.
The blockade of the Gaza strip is illegal. The boarding of the flotilla by Israeli forces last May and the killing of 9 aid workers was illegal. The separation wall is obscene and illegal and the construction of settlements on stolen Palestinian land is illegal.
I strongly support the right of the humanitarian aid workers and others to deliver very necessary humanitarian aid to the people of that region which they are being illegally denied by the Israeli authorities.
Providing humanitarian aid for the million and a half people who live under siege in Gaza and making a stand against the aggression and illegal actions of the Israeli state is hugely important.
The situation in that region and the illegal blockade of Gaza will not go away. It must be faced up to and the siege ended if there is to be any hope for peace.
The Irish government can play a key role in this by giving leadership within Europe and supporting the right of the Palestinian peoples to their own state.”
Note to editor: Gaza Statistics:
· 1.5 million people live in a piece of land 40 km long by 10 km wide.
· 80% of Gazans are now dependent on some form of aid.
· 100,000 estimated to have lost their jobs in the private sector since 2004/5.
· 56% of the population of Gaza is under 18. Schools in Gaza have often classes of over 50 children.
For immediate release 5th July
Government must get answers on MV Saoirse – Mac Lochlainn
Sinn Féin raise sabotage of Irish aid boat with Tánaiste
At today’s meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, TD, has challenged the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore on what efforts he has made to get answers on the sabotage of the Irish aid boat, the MV Saoirse, while docked in Turkey, last week.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore confirmed that he has been in contact with the Turkish authorities, seeking an update on their investigations and also that he has raised the matter with the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
“There is widespread outrage at the obvious sabotage of the MV Saoirse. Those responsible recklessly endangered the lives of the Irish citizens aboard the boat and prevented them from carrying out their mission of solidarity and aid for the beleaguered Palestinian people of Gaza”.
“The facts are that the lives of Irish citizens were put at serious risk and all efforts must be made to get to the truth of this affair in a fashion deployed by the previous Irish Government when Irish passports were utilised to facilitate the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai Hotel. Israeli intelligence agents acting on behalf of the Israeli Government were subsequently held responsible”.
“I welcome the initial efforts of the Tánaiste but I expect a relentless pursuit of the truth.
It is absolutely incumbent on the Irish Government to ensure that a full and comprehensive investigation in to this shocking incident is carried out by the Turkish authorities and that answers are demanded of the Israeli Government, believed by many to be responsible”
The US boat, The “Audacity of Hope” set sail yesterday for Gaza. Within minutes it was surrounded by heavily armed Greek commandos, who eventually boarded the ship forcing it to immediately turn back to port. At the same time the Canadian boat the “Tahrir” was being boarded and their paperwork confiscated. Additionally all other boats had armed Greek police and Coast Guard personnel guarding the ships to keep them from leaving port. The Greek Announcement on the Flotilla can be read below. It is now clear that the siege on Gaza extends to Greece and its islands.
Prohibition of the departure of ships with Greek and foreign flags from Greek ports to the maritime area of Gaza today
Pursuant to a decision by the Minister of Citizen Protection Mr. C. Papoutsis, the departure of ships with Greek and foreign flags from Greek ports to the maritime area of Gaza has been prohibited today.
By orders of the Hellenic Coast Guard Head Quarters to all local Hellenic Coast Guard Authorities, all appropriate measures are taken for the implementation of the said decision.
As it is known, the Hellenic Coast Guard local Authorities have already been instructed to submit to ships Masters of ships of any flag the relevant notice to mariners that designates the area of maritime blockade by Israel.
More specifically, for ships flying the Greek flag, relevant entries shall be made in the ships logbook together with the reception of the above mentioned notice to mariners as well as with the communication by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dated 22 June 2011.
Furthermore, the broader maritime area of eastern Mediterranean will be continuously monitored by electronic means for tracking, where applicable, the movements of the ships allegedly participating in such campaign.
Finally, police controls of passengers and crews are conducted while there is cooperation with local police and customs Authorities for rigorous controls on issues of their competence.
On Monday the ships 3 crew members 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.
On the way back 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.
Pat and the crew then hired experts to dive down and inspect the damage closer, upon their return to land it was noted that the boat has very serious damage done and that a piece was missing from one of the propeller shafts. The boat was then removed from the water and inspected on dry land (videos below) where the deep cuts inflicted onto the propeller shaft could be clearly seen and photos taken for evidence, the shaft was also very bent. These things together create a very dangerous life threatening situation for those who had just been sailing on the ship. The sabotage was intended to endanger and/or inflict injury or death on Irish citizens as the went abou their lawful right to sail on the high seas.
Clearly the terrorist divers had come up under the boat and intentionally cut out pieces of the propeller shaft, thus weakening it so that it would shear off and sink the boat or kill people onboard. As the boat’s engine placed stress on the shaft it would have given way and the propeller would have come up through the bottom of the boat, causing flooding in the engine room and the boat to sink. Moreover, any Irish passengers standing nearby when the propeller came through the deck could have been killed immediately, or seriously injured.
The passengers from Derry and Belfast who were onboard the ship travelling to the re-fueling point were a bit un-nerved when told the possibilities of what could have happened on that short journey they had just returned from.
The terrorists have now struck twice, in two different countries! This same type of sabotage was done to another vessel in Greece only days ago. We have the videos below of both the ship in Greece and the Irish Ship which was located in Turkey. Followed by a short video of Pat Fitzgerald the ship’s engineer after inspecting some of the damage.
This was a vicious attack on Irish property by 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 including members of Derry Friends of Palestine. We will continue to keep you updated on this website regarding the Irish passengers who will be travelling now on other ships.
GREEK SABOTAGE DAMAGE
MV SAOIRSE SABOTAGE DAMAGE
Ships engineer Pat Fitzgerald inspects the damage, note that the damage was meant to sink the boat and would have cost Irish lives
As part of the Irish Ship to Gaza national campaign there will be coordinated protests held in Derry and Belfast as follows:
Sinead MacLochlainn, Chair Irish Ship to Gaza Committee
Liam Gallagher, Derry Trade Union Council
Liam McConway, Derry Friends of Palestine
Please show your support for the passengers sailing from Derry and Belfast on the Irish Ship the MV Saoirse as part of the Freedom Flotilla 2 to Gaza. Tell Israel to “Let Them Sail”
Irish Ship to Gaza passengers John Mallon, Phil McCullough and Charlie McMenamin send messages from on board the MV Saoirse:
Message from Belfast Friends of Palestine committee member John Mallon:
Well folks hope you are all good, everythıng ıs goıng well over here we are wıth the rest of our friends and comrades onboard the MV Saoirse. The Irısh flag ıs flyıng ın the wınd on your shıp which was paid for by the people of Ireland North and South. Please come out and support our comrades ın Derry and Belfast on Tuesday and Wednesday and above all else, STAY HUMAN
Phil McCullough from West Belfast
Message to Family and friends:
Charlie McMenamin from Derry
Message to Family and friends:
The passengers on board the MV Saoirse are asking for your support back home. Please, take ONE minute out of your day and ring the office of Eamon Gilmore, Tánaiste and Foreign Minister, to protest against the Israelis stopping our people from sailing. Tell him loud and clear to deliver a message to the Israelis to “LET THEM SAIL”
Eamon Gilmore’s office
+353 1 618 4037