UN Expert denounces seizure of aid boat by Israeli forces

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Written by Free Gaza Movement

Friday, 03 July 2009 01:13
Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2009 01:14
2 July 2009

GENEVA – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, denounced the unlawful naval seizure by an Israeli gunboat on the high seas of a ship carrying medicine and reconstruction material to blockaded people of Gaza.

“This Israeli action implements its cruel blockade of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits any form of collective punishment directed at an occupied people”, said the human rights expert.

Mr. Falk pointed to a recent report on the impact on health resulting from the two year blockade, issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross, stressing that Israeli actions not only restrict such vital supplies as food, medicine, and fuel to bare subsistence levels, but has in unprecedented fashion, disallowed the entry to Gaza of building materials and spare parts needed for repairing some of the widespread damage caused by its attacks on the Strip that took place for 22 days starting on December 27, 2008.

“Such a pattern of continuing blockade under these conditions amounts to such a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions as to constitute a continuing crime against humanity”, added the independent human rights expert.

The boat in question had been inspected in response to Israeli demands before departure by the port authorities in Cyprus to determine whether there were weapons on board. None were found, and Israeli authorities were so informed.

Nonetheless, the 21 peace activists on the boat were arrested, held in captivity, and have been charged with ‘illegal entry’ to Israel even though they had no intention of going to Israel. The group included such prominent figures as the Irish winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Mairead Maguire, and the former American congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.


For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967: http://www.ohchr.org/SP/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx

For interview requests, please contact Linnéa Arvidsson (+41 22 928 9126, larvidsson[at]ohchr.org)

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Media Unit
Rupert Colville, Spokesperson: + 41 22 917 9767
Xabier Celaya, Information Officer: + 41 22 917 9383

For inquiries and media requests: press-info[at]ohchr.org


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6 thoughts on “UN Expert denounces seizure of aid boat by Israeli forces

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  4. The second comment is the correct response. Around 1900 a number of Jews were clamoring for a Jewish homeland. The moderate Jews knew it couldn’t be in Palestine because it would mean eternal conflict. However, the Zionist Jewish political movement took over, stating that it had to be in Palestine and no place else. What has the world seen since then, but conflict?

  5. Israel is not jihadistan/ dar al-islam. I hope Israel manages to drive back the jihadi imperialists, just as the Europeans drove back the islamo imperialists from Spain and other parts of Europe.

  6. Modern history witnessed the rise and fall of many downright savage, barbaric and illegitimate entities, but none has been as deceitful in its disguise as Israel – history’s ultimate con job and biggest lie. Highway robbery in broad day light of another people’s land under the laughing pretence of it being promised to them by God. They always fall at the end and Israel turn, unless it changes its ways and wises up, which I doubt very much, will be no different. For their sake, I hope they grow up and realize the wrong of their ways and the degree of injustice and crime they committed against the Palestinian people.

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