Let the Estelle pass
Gush Shalom to Israeli decision makers: Avoid another show of brute force in international waters and let the Estelle dock at the Port of Gaza – while implementing a UN inspection of her cargo, to which the activists specifically consent.
background (from the Ship to Gaza press release):
Israeli peace activist Yonatan Shapira, who had been a combat pilot in the Israeli Air Force and refused to take part in the bombing of Palestinian cities, has arrived on board the Swedish boat "Estelle" which is making her way towards the coast of Gaza. When the Estelle passed near the shores of Greece, Shapira and other activists made their way in a motor boat, evading vessels of the Greek Coast Guard which sought to bar their way. "Along with the Greek Coast Guard we saw a ship which seemed very much like an Israeli Navy vessel, though it did not fly a flag" said Shapira. He was received with cheers by activists already on board. Shapira had taken part in a similar sailing last year, being taken off by Israeli Navy Commandos near the Gaza shore and spending time in police detention, but not charged with any criminal offence.
Meanwhile, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor has sent a letter calling on the United Nations to stop the Estelle from reaching her destination. To this activists on board of the Estelle respond: "If this means that Israel has decided to cede control over Palestinian territorial waters to the UN, this would actually be a step forward.
The UN and many other representatives of the International Community have for years characterized the siege of the Gaza strip as inhuman and incompatible with International Law.
Ship to Gaza Sweden assumes that the UN will not take over the implementation of this policy, by itself preventing a peaceful vessel from delivering humanitarian supplies.
Ship to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla have never opposed lawful inspections of cargo and vessel by representatives of the UN, as well as by national authorities in the ports and waters we have passed through. We welcome further inspections of this kind by the UN, once we have anchored at Gaza City. What we refuse to accept is something which also the UN and the majority of The International Community oppose: The illegal siege of the Gaza Strip, with its devastating humanitarian results.