A number of warships have appeared, so an attack, boarding and capture appear to be imminent, and we anticipate that all communications with the vessel will be lost shortly.
Al Awda is sailing under a Norwegian flag, carrying 22 people and a cargo of medical supplies, including #Gauze4Gaza. Passengers and crew on board are from 16 nations, including human rights supporters, journalists and crew, along with €13,000 worth of urgently needed medical supplies. The boat itself, a former fishing vessel from Norway, is a gift to Palestinian fishers in Gaza.
Four boats left Scandinavia in mid-May and have since stopped in 28 ports building support for a ‘Just Future for Palestine’, that demands Israel end its ongoing breaches of international law and the twelve-year blockade of Gaza, thereby enabling the only closed port in the Mediterranean to open and for people to have their right to freedom of movement.
Al Awda is being followed by the Swedish-flagged yacht.
Freedom, which is also carrying medical supplies along with people from a number of nations. We anticipate that it will reach a similar area where the IOF attacked Al Awda within the next two days. Two smaller sailing boats that traveled from Scandinavia and sailed through the canal system in Netherlands, Belgium and France visiting inland ports, participated in the mission until Palermo.
“The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on the Norwegian Government, the national governments of those aboard Al Awda and the Freedom, other national governments, and relevant international organizations to act immediately.” said Torstein Dahle of Ship to Gaza Norway, part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. “The international community must assume its responsibilities and demand that Israeli authorities ensure the safety of those on board, the speedy delivery of our gifts to the Palestinian people in Gaza, an end to the illegal blockade of Gaza, and to stop impeding our legal right of innocent passage to Gaza to deliver our gift of much-needed medical supplies”.
More information about the ‘Right to a Just Future for Palestine’ flotilla and the FFC:
For US citizens, please call the US Department of State and demand that the State of Israel be held accountable for piracy–and demand that the medical supplies for Gaza on Al Awda be sent from Ashdod harbor to Gaza as provided by international law.
Call/email/tweet for release of US participant Joe Meadors
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
Tel: +1 202 647 4000 (ask for Israel & Palestine desk, and American Citizen Services, and/or Operations Center
US Embassy in Israel
U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser
Jerusalem 9378322, Israel
Phone: 02-630-4000 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)
Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon Street
Tel Aviv 6343229, Israel
Phone: 03-519-7575 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)