It has emerged that the Irish Ship to Gaza, part of the Freedom Flotilla 2, has been sabotaged whilst sitting in harbour preparing to sail. The damage, which was potentially life threatening, is so serious that the ship will not be able to sail, but fortunately some of those on board can move to the Italian ship that is part of the flotilla. Here one of those on the flotilla, Socialist Party MEP,Paul Murphy responds to this latest development.
An emergency protest in Dublin against this sabotage, and the siege of Gaza, has been organised for this evening (Thursday) starting at 6pm at the Spire on O’Connell Street.
The revelation that terrorist-style sabotage of the MV Saoirse caused serious damage to the ship and threatened the loss of life is extremely serious. The evidence pointing towards the Israeli state being guilty is overwhelming. It cannot be a coincidence that two of the boats destined to sail to Gaza have now been sabotaged in the same way, with their propeller shafts damaged.
These attacks match with the Israeli government rhetoric that they would do everything they could to prevent the flotilla from sailing. Those, like Hillary Clinton, who gave an implicit green light to Israeli Defence Forces aggression against the flotilla share responsibility for this sabotage. The sabotage has not only caused tens of thousands of euros of damage to these ships, but also threatened the lives of all the participants aboard. If we had been travelling to Gaza at full speed, an explosion could have been caused that would have sunk the boat and threatened all our lives. An international independent investigation should be launched to fully investigate the sabotage of the ships.
I demand a statement of condemnation of these terror attacks from the Israeli state. If such a statement is not forthcoming, I call on the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador from Ireland.
Although I am very disappointed at not being able to sail on the MV Saoirse due to the damage to the ship, this sabotage will not deter me from sailing to Gaza to protest at the continuing siege and virtual imprisonment of the 1.6 million Palestinians living there. I will be participating in the Italian boat as part of the Flotilla and will be setting sail in a few days.
It was a pleasure campaigning alongside the other participants on the MV Saoirse, all of whom made big sacrifices to try to break the blockade to Gaza. The organisers and crew in particular put in a herculean effort to prepare our ship and team and I am very thankful to them. I am deeply disappointed for those that will not be able to travel to Gaza due to this terrorism. However, I am hoping to bring their messages of solidarity to the Palestinian people.