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Zaytouna-Oliva Captured in International Waters by Israeli Navy
For Immediate Release
October 5, 2016
At 9:58 am (EST), the Israeli navy intercepted and captured the Zaytouna-Oliva in international waters. The sailing boat was carrying women, representing 13 countries across 5 continents who were trying to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza. The women included three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete, former US Diplomat Ann Wright, and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire. The interception occurred as Israel was simultaneously bombarding Gaza.
The last message heard from Mairead Maguire stated “We are people of the world, we should be allowed to visit our brothers and sisters in Gaza and not be stopped. We will continue to support the people of Gaza and the people of Palestine until they have their human rights and their freedom.
“It is our belief that no country has the right to isolate a whole people and punish them against international law. So we hope that this trip to Gaza will show to the international community, the UN, the EU , USA, everybody in the world has a responsibility to work to get this blockade lifted and freedom to the people of Gaza who should be allowed to come and go.”
In a video made prior to her kidnapping, Wright encourages Americans to contact her former boss, State Secretary John Kerry, to demand her immediate release from Israel and to end the military blockade on Gaza.
We will insist that Israel stop interfering with our voyages to Gaza, since they do not have the right; legal or moral, to enforce a blockade that collectively punishes 1.9 million Palestinian people.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org.