BREAKING NEWS: Humanitarian Ship to Gaza Running out of Food and Water

In-depth Report:
BREAKING NEWS:  Humanitarian Ship to Gaza Running out of Food and Water

LATEST UPDATE, Tuesday, 24 May 2011, 7.13am EDT, 13.13 local time 

According to our latest communication (satellite phone) from the ship, the boat is still stranded in territorial waters.

The Egyptian port authorities have not received instructions to allow the ship to berth, despite the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was communicated to the Malaysian embassy. According to sources, it would appear that the decision is being blocked by Egypt’s Military Intelligence, in consultation with Tel Aviv anbd Washington. 

Meanwhile the ship has become a de facto prison. It is running out of water and food.

“Our water supply is totally finished. We are now using sea water to clean ourselves, flush toilet, and wash dishes. We are only using half a bottle of mineral water for final cleansing of cooking utensils, after boiling it to get rid of the oil and dirt.

Each member of the crew and passenger must get their own pail of sea water each time they use the toilet and to flush it. We are now rationing our drinking water supply which consists of limited bottles of mineral water. However, the spirit and morale of the team is high and we are resolute to face all eventualities and to defeat and overcome any schemes that may prevent the cargo from reaching Gaza.”

UPDATE, Monday  23 May, at 13.30pm EDT,  20.30pm local time

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie is back in Egyptian territorial waters. The crew and passengers are safe. The Malaysian Embassy in Cairo has advised that the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted permission to the ship to berth in the port of Al Arish tomorrow May 24th and unload its cargo.

This decision by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Al Arabi, which remains to be confirmed, is of fundamental significance. It is an important step towards breaking the Gaza blockade.

Mr. Al Arabi had indicated almost a month ago his resolve to open the border at Rafah and end the Gaza blockade.

UPDATE: Monday May 23, 9:53pm EDT, Egypt time 3:53pm  

“The Egyptian Navy is forcing us out of their territorial waters and has asked us to go to international waters. One Egyptian patrol boat is coming very fast from behind with a gun pointing at us.” Everyone is calm and steady. We are okay.”

From our latest communication with the ship, it appears that the Egyptian Navy is collaborating with the Israelis with a view to endangering the security of the ship.

UPDATE Monday 23 May At 8.33am EDT (14.33pm local time)

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie lifted anchor and started sailing towards Gaza.

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie (officially known as FINCH) carrying a humanitarian cargo to Gaza was attacked by an Israeli naval patrol within the so-called Palestinian Security Zone on May 15, at 10.54pm EDT. The ship is carrying 7.5 kilometers of UPVC (plastic) sewage pipes to help restore the devastated sewerage system in Gaza.

Global Research is a partner with the Perdana Global Peace Foundation’s mission. A member of Global Research is on board the ship. 

After being attacked by Israel and stranded in Egyptian territorial waters for 7 days, The Spirit of Rachel Corrie has lifted anchor and is sailing back towards Gaza [8.33am EDT, 14.33pm local time] in defiance of both the Egyptian and Israeli navy patrols.

We call upon human rights organizations, Palestinian solidarity organizations Worldwide to take an active position regarding the Spirit of Rachel Corrie.

SPREAD THE WORD, REPORT THIS MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK

Support the Spirit of Rachel Corrie’s resolve to break the blockade. What happens in the next few hours will be decisive. Egypt is complicit in supporting the blockade.

The objective is to break the Egypt-Israel agreement and open up the border crossing by land and by sea between Egypt and Gaza. 

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission will inevitably have a direct bearing on future humanitarian endeavors including the Freedom Flotilla which is scheduled to sail to Gaza in June.

Michel Chossudovsky in Montreal, Julie Levesque reporting from the Spirit of Rachel Corrie in Egyptian territorial waters. 

MONTREAL 9.06AM EDT, May 23, 2011.

On May 16, immediately following the Israeli attack, the Egyptian authorities came on board, inspected the ship’s cargo and documentation and acknowledged the humanitarian nature of the mission.

The Egyptian minister of foreign affairs Nabil Al-Arabi’s is reported to have met his Malaysian counterpart in Jakarta on Monday regarding the Rachel Corrie Mission to Gaza. Nabil El-Arabi  stated less than a month ago “that Cairo was working to permanently open the Rafah border crossing” between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and that within week’s delay (followng his statement), moves would be made to end the “blockade and suffering of the Palestinian nation.” 

Following pressures from Tel Aviv and Washington as well divisions within the post Mubarak military government, Nabil Al-Arabi’s resolve to end the blockade has not been carried out.

Monday 6.30am EDT (13.30pm local time) Cairo has refused to let the boat into the port, despite repeated promises.

Mondfay 23 May at  6am EDT, 11am  (local time), the following decision was taken and transmitted to the Egyptian government via the Egyptian Port Authority at al Arish: If by 1400 hrs today (local time) [6am EDT], we are not allowed to berth and discharge our cargo, we shall take that as an official refusal and we shall leave Egypt and sail to Gaza.

If  by 14 Hours Today, we are not allowed to berth and discharge our cargo cargo for Palestinians in Gaza we shall consider that as an official refusal by your government to deliver the cargo. 

We will pick up our anchor and leave the territorial waters of Egypt and sail to Gaza to discharge our cargo as our ship has been detained in your port area for seven days,

The usual response of the port authorities. “We are waiting instructions” [from Cairo]

Monday 23 May At 8.33am EDT (14.33pm local time) the Spirit of Rachel Corrie lifted anchor and started sailing towards Gaza.


UPDATE: Monday 23 May. 9:53pm EDT, Egypt time 3:53pm  

“The Egyptian Navy is forcing us out of their territorial waters and has asked us to go to international waters. One Egyptian patrol boat is coming very fast from behind with a gun pointing at us.” Everyone is calm and steady. We are okay.”

From our latest communication with the ship, it appears that the Egyptian Navy is collaborating with the Israelis with a view to endangering the security of the ship.

We call upon human rights organizations, Palestinian solidarity organizations Worldwide to take an active position regarding the Spirit of Rachel Corrie.

Support the Spirit of Rachel Corrie’s resolve to break the blockade.

What happens in the next hours will be decisive.

The objective is to break the Egypt-Israel agreement and open up the border crossings by land and by sea between Egypt and Gaza. 

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission will inevitably have a direct bearing on future humanitarian endeavors including the Freedom Flotilla which is scheduled to sail to Gaza in June.

SEE OUR PREVIOUS REPORTS WHICH PROVIDE DETAILS OF THE ISRAELI ATTACK


Breaking the Blockade on Gaza: Lone Humanitarian Vessel Confronts the Egyptian Military Government
- by Michel Chossudovsky, Julie Lévesque – 2011-05-21


SPIRIT OF RACHEL CORRIE BLOCKED BY EGYPT: Leader of Gaza aid mission goes on hunger strike
- 2011-05-21


BREAKING NEWS: Israel Attacks Humanitarian Ship to Gaza in International Waters
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-16

They are shooting all over the place. We can’t continue … They circled our ship twice and fired across our ship. Machine guns. No one was injured…


About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. He can be reached at [email protected] * * * * Michel Chossudovsky est directeur du Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation et professeur émérite de sciences économiques à l’Université d’Ottawa. Il est l’auteur de "Guerre et mondialisation, La vérité derrière le 11 septembre", "La Mondialisation de la pauvreté et nouvel ordre mondial" (best-seller international publié en plus de 10 langues). Contact : [email protected]

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