This ship which carried reconstruction and 3 tons of medical supplies, in addition to childrens’ toys, also carried passengers such as Cynthia McKinney, a former US Congresswoman and presidential candidate, and Mairead Maguire, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. The reason for the ship’s detainment is the Israeli-enforced blockade on Gaza.
The ship’s supplies were confiscated, and the IDF has stated they will be delivered “subject to authorization.” The ship, sent as a part of the Free Gaza Movement, is said to have been in international waters at the time of its capture. Ms. McKinney said “This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip.”
This was the eighth boat trip carried supplies to Gaza since Israel imposed the blockade; two other missions were stopped prior to this one. The Monday prior to the breaking of this news, the Red Cross described Palestinians living in Gaza as trapped in despair.
Mairead Maguire described the importance of the ship’s mission: The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of “Cast Lead.” Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone.
This story is an example of why your support for PfP is important. Palestinian children deserve their childhoods, and we affirm that our playgrounds truly let them be children, even if only for a few minutes a day.