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Israel has to guarantee safety of captured Gaza-activists


19 Jul 2011


Med & South


The French ship "Dignity al-Karama", the only remaining vessel from the "Gaza Flotilla", was surrounded by the Israeli navy upon nearing the Gaza coast. The boat's lines of communication have been jammed and the Israeli navy have boarded the boat and are now taking it to the port of Ashdod.

Reacting to the news, Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Co-Presidents of the Greens/EFA group, said:

"We call upon the Israeli authorities to avoid any escalation of the situation and to guarantee the physical integrity and safety of the 16 activists aboard."

Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit this morning sent an urgent letter to Ms Catherine Ashton, High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, asking her to request the Israeli authorities to re-establish the lines of communication of the "Dignity al-Karama" and to avoid any escalation of the situation. The full text of the letter reads as follows:

"We have been informed that at this specific moment, a small French boat, with 16 pacifists on board, nationals of five different European countries, is encircled by three military boats 40 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza. These people are currently totally disconnected from any telecommunication or satellite communication systems. We ask you to urgently contact the Israeli authorities and request that they re-establish the lines of communication. We need to make all efforts required in order to avoid any escalation of this situation. We feel confident that you will do your best to bring this situation to a peaceful conclusion."

Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament
Helmut Weixler
Head of Press Office
phone: 0032-2-284.4683
fax: 0032-2-284.4944
mobile phone: 0032-475-67 13 40