BREAKING NEWS: Egypt enforces Israeli Embargo on Gaza: Humanitarian Ship to Gaza Stranded in Egyptian territorial waters

In-depth Report:


UPDATE; Montreal, May 19, 8.38am. Global Research was in touch with the ship at 8.20am EDT.

The Egyptian port authorities at Al Arish have promised water and food. But no water and food has been provided. “We are waiting instructions”, which means that decisions are taken in Cairo and Tel Aviv.

They also promised to allow the ship to dock in the port of Al Arish.  But these empty promises also require the green light from Cairo. And Cairo requires the green light from Tel Aviv.

The Egyptian government is working for the Israelis. In practice, the Israeli blockade extends along the Egyptian coastline (on land and in Egypt’s territorial waters) from Al Arish to the Egypt-Gaza border. (See map below, the border with Gaza is indicated in —— )

The Cairo government is a de facto proxy of Tel Aviv. The people of Egypt have expressed their solidarity and resolve to break the Gaza blockade. The Cairo government acts in defiance of international law. 

 The Spirit of Rachel Corrie has decided to approach the port of Al Arish with a view to breaking “the Egyptian Blockade” and ensuring the transfer of its humanitarian cargo by land. 

In recent developments (12.30pm EDT, May 19), the ship has been prevented from moving towards the coast by the Egyptian navy. The Spirit of Rachel Corrie is without fuel, without water and without food, despite empty promises by the Egyptian port authority to allow for the ship to be resupplied.    

Meanwhile, we call upon people’s organizations in Egypt and around the World to act forcefully and in solidarity with The Rachel Corrie.

Pressure should be exerted at all levels of government, nationally and internationally, at the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity, the Arab League, with a view to breaking the Gaza blockade. 

Pressure should be exerted on the government of Egypt to cancel its agreement with the State of Israel, which prevents the movement of people, trade and international aid by land and by sea between Egypt and Gaza.  

MONTREAL. May 19, 3.21am EDT, Global Research. 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. 

After a shoot to kill with automatic weapons by the Israeli navy, the ship changed course and was escorted by an Egyptian navy patrol into Egyptian territorial waters, within a short distance of the port of Al Arish.

The Rachel Corrie mission is an initiative of Malaysia`s Perdana Global Peace Foundation chaired by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. It was named after the courageous American activist crushed and killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while trying to prevent the demolition of another Palestinian home. She died at 23.

The understanding reached between the Mission and the Egyptian authorities on May 16th was that the ship would be allowed into the port of Al Arish and that the humanitarian cargo for Gaza would be transported by land to the Egypt-Gaza border crossing.

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie is carrying 7.5 kilometers of UPVC (plastic) sewage pipes to help restore the devastated sewerage system in Gaza.

The Egyptian authorities are sitting on their decision. Since May 16th, the Spirit of Rachel Corrie is stranded in Egyptian territorial waters of the coast of the port of Al Arish. The ship is running out of water and food. It is prevented from docking in the port of Al Ashir. 

The Egyptian government has been contacted through diplomatic channels. The post-Mubarak government, which claims to be committed to “democracy”, is collaborating with Tel Aviv. Cairo’s resolve is to serve Israeli interests and enforce the embargo on Gaza by both land and sea. 

Israel is portrayed as the victim.  According to the Jerusalem Post, “Israel was expected to file a protest with the UN Security Council on Wednesday over a Malaysian ship… that tried to run the sea blockade of the Gaza Strip Monday night, but was turned back by the navy.”

The decision by Egypt to prevent the boat from docking in the port and enabling the mission to proceed by land to Gaza is deliberate.

Global Research which is a partner in the PGPF mission has been in communication with the ship by satellite phone. At 2.30am EDT, the Spirit of Rachel Corrie mission informed the Egyptian authorities that if it continues to prevent the mission from transporting the humanitarian cargo by land, it will have no other choice but to lift anchor and direct itself by sea to the Gaza coastline, transiting through the Palestinian Security Zone.

We call upon the international community, the United Nations and the governments of neighboring Arab states to put pressure on Cairo and allow the humanitarian mission to proceed by land.


Earlier Report

BREAKING NEWS: Israel’s Attack on Humanitarian Ship to Gaza.
Updated Report
– 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…

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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, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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