Palestinian people condemn Israeli aggression on Gaza aid ship

Thursday, 6 October, 2016 - 13:45

A senior Palestinian official has censured Israel for intercepting an all-women flotilla en route the Gaza Strip which is under a decade-long blockade.

Israeli troops stopped the the Zaytouna-Oliva flotilla, crewed by 13 women, some 35 miles from Palestinian waters on Wednesday.

The flotilla, which set sail from Spain on September 14, was redirected to the port of Ashdod and the activists were taken for interrogation.

Secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat denounced the Israeli “aggression” and demanded an immediate release of the women.

He called on the governments of Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia and Canada, where the crew hail from, to immediately intervene to prevent Israel from harming the rights of their citizens.

The Israeli seizure dampened hopes among a group of Palestinians who had gathered on the beach to welcome the boat.

In 2015, when the “Women’s Boat” attempted to deliver humanitarian aid to the coastal enclave, the Israeli naval forces boarded the vessel and forced it to change route.

A similar attempt by a Turkish flotilla resulted in the death of 10 activists in 2010, when Israeli commandos attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea.

They also injured about 50 other activists.