Early Sunday morning a 100 fishing boats festooned with Palestinian flags and flags from activists’ native countries were waiting to welcome Monday’s arrival of the six ship flotilla into the port of Gaza.
Later on Sunday, while the Freedom flotilla was sailing in international waters, 90 nautical miles from the Gazan shore, Israeli warships approached the ships of the flotilla, requested their identity and their point of travel, and admonished them from continuing their travel course or else risk their ships and passengers. By midnight, two Israeli warships loomed closer on both sides of the flotilla. At dawn, without any visible provocation, Israeli navy commandos descended upon the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship. News sources are reporting between 16 to 20 confirmed dead, and over 50 persons injured.
Everyone in Gaza Strip is shocked and disheartened by the death of the 16 or more citizens on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Gaza Community Mental Health Programme considers these violent actions as an attempt to bully, subordinate and maintain a stranglehold on the people of Gaza. Saying that this action reveals the true face of the occupation and the need to work together to expose the oppression and achieve peace and justice for all. And imploring the international community to summon the courage to bring Israel before the International Court of Justice for their recurrent war crimes and flagrant violations of human rights.
The journalists in Palestine express their strong condemnation through a conference in Gaza against this heinous crime, reaffirming that this attack on the ships carrying civilians and humanitarian aid can only be described as an act of piracy and a serious violation of international law and human rights. Considering it as a violation of the sovereignty of the states under which the flags these solidarity ships were sailing.