True to their violent and illegal nature, the Zionist occupiers of Palestine attacked the Gaza-bound Swedish humanitarian boat, the Marriane on the high seas and pirated it. All 20 passengers on board including the former President of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki and members of the European Parliamentar were also kidnapped and taken against their will to the Israeli port of Ashdod for interrogation.
Gaza City, Crescent-online
Monday June 29, 2015, 16:17 DST
The Marianne, flagship of the Freedom Flotilla 3, sailing to break the siege of Gaza, was attacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces about 105 nautical miles from besieged enclave. The boat was commandeered and all its passengers were kidnapped.
The attack occurred early this morning (it was late Sunday [June 28] night when Israeli naval commandos boarded the boat. The boat is currently en route to the Ashdod port.
The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz reported that naval commandos from the Shayetet 13 unit searched the boat after it was boarded and its passengers ordered to surrender. No one on board the boat was armed. The Swedish boat, Marriane, was carrying 20 activists among them former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, and Israeli Knesset member, Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List.
There were also members of the European Parliament, peace activists and journalists. The unarmed passengers had vowed not to forcibly resist the Zionist attackers. The boat was carrying humanitarian aid and medical equipment for Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on June 28, Ghattas called for allowing the Marianne to enter Gaza port. He wrote: “As you know, I declared my intention to participate in the flotilla to Gaza out of clear political motivations, because of my opposition to the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip.” Ghattas further said: “The blockade is illegal and contravenes international humanitarian law, in that it imposes collective punishment on Gaza residents.”
The Israeli newspaper quoted military sources as saying the ship is expected to dock in Ashdod within the next 12 to 24 hours, depending on weather and sea conditions. At Ashdod, the Zionist occupiers of Palestine will interrogate all the passengers. If past experience is any guide, they will be humiliated and locked up for hours and then deported from the country.
None of the passengers onboard the boat wanted to go to Israel; they were heading for the besieged Gaza Strip but the Zionists habitually indulge in high sea piracy. It is illegal under international law to stop boats and ships in international waters. The Zionist regime, however acts as an outlaw. It has consistently shown disdain for all laws.
Two other boats that set sail Friday June 26 from Greek ports with the intent of joining the Marianne were forced to return to port by the Greek authorities.