"Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Two Irish deported, three remain in detention, including one wounded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The MV Rachel Corrie
(1st June 2010, 3pm) Yesterday’s Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in which up to 19 human rights activists were murdered in international waters has not deterred the Irish cargo ship the MV Rachel Corrie which is currently en route to Gaza and hopes to arrive this Saturday. Meanwhile the fall-out from the attack has pressured Egypt into opening the Rafah Crossing.
In the Dail, an all party motion which calls upon the government to ensure the safe passage of the MV Rachel Corrie and calls for the blockade of Gaza to be lifted is expected to be passed at around 7pm this evening. The IPSC welcomes this motion and hopes the Israeli government will heed it.
The Rachel Corrie was slightly behind the rest of the flotilla due to having to dock in Malta to undergo some engine repairs. The crew and passengers – which include 5 Irish people – made the decision to continue their journey to deliver supplies and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza despite further threats from the Israeli military. The Irish on board are Denis Halliday, Mariead Maguire, Fiona Hamilton, Derek and Jenny Graham (bios below).
Speaking in support of the mission, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) spokesperson Freda Hughes said: “We commend this brave direct action taken by international activists, an action who’s significance has increased exponentially in both humanitarian and political terms since Israel committed yet another act of state terrorism by murdering 19 passengers on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and hijacking their aid flotilla, “
Ms Hughes continued: “The IPSC has been in contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs urging them to take all measures necessary to ensure that Israel does not attack this ship and that it lets them bring their independently checked humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. The government of Ireland has a clear duty to protect Irish citizens, uphold international law and help bring an end to the siege of Gaza. We welcome the the all-party Dail motion calling for the Rachel Corrie’s safe passge.”
Meanwhile, Shane Dillion, the kidnapped first mate of the Challenger II is on his way home after being deported from Israel. He will arrive in Ireland later today, but his family are asking that the media do not go to the airport. According to family, he will hopefully be available for media interviews sometime tomorrow. Isam Bin Ali, a Libyan-Irish citizen is also due to be deported.
Al Mahdi Al Harati, a wounded Libyan-Irish citizen remains in Israeli detention, as do Dr Fintan Lane of the IPSC and Fiachra O Luain."