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Source : IMEMC

’Dignity’ boat arrives in Gaza as a third boat, breaking Israel’s blockade

by Rami Almeghari

Thursday 30 October 2008

The Free Gaza Movement (FGM) announced on Wednesday morning the arrival of its second journey to the besieged Gaza Strip through Gaza shores. In a press release, emailed to the IMEMC, the FGM said it’s the second boat that breaks the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, in place since June2007.

The third boat , called ’the Dignity’, is carrying 27 crew and passengers, arrived in Gaza at 8:10 Gaza time, in spite of Israeli threats to stop them, the statement read.

In the pouring rain, the boat pulled into port amid cheers from the people of Gaza and tears from the passengers. David Schermerhorn, a crew member called an hour before the boat entered Gazan waters to say, “There is a rainbow stretching across the Mediterranean from where we are right now.”

Yesterday, the Israeli Navy said they would stop our vessel once it reached Israel’s territorial waters. Apparently to save face, they said they would harm our boat, arrest us and tow us IF we entered Israeli waters. The problem for Israel is that the Dignity had no intention of getting anywhere near those waters.

One of the organizers, Huwaida Arraf, cheered, "Once again we’ve been able to defy an unjust and illegal policy while the rest of the world is too intimidated to do anything. Our small boat is a huge cry to the international community to follow in our footsteps and open a lifeline to the people of Gaza."

For the second time, the Free Gaza Movement has demonstrated that the might of the Israeli Navy is no match for a small boat of human rights activists determined to call to the attention of the world the occupation of the people of Gaza.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council added, “Despite the injustice against the Palestinian people, we believe in justice and will keep on trying to break Israel’s siege. The occupation has divided the Palestinians, but our non-violent resistance has united us.”

Osama Qashoo, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement, is overjoyed for the second time in three months, “We are all capable of leading a non-violent and effective movement to end Israeli Apartheid and expose the injustice that has been meted out to the Palestinians. We, in the Free Gaza Movement, have provided the new dictionary, it’s up to the Palestinians and Israelis and Internationals to add the words.”

In August,23, more than 40 international peace activists and supporters of the Palestinian people arrived in Gaza for the first time ever in four decades via Gaza’s sea.