Yesterday evening the smallest of the Gaza Flotilla ships, the French yacht Dignité Al Karama left the Crete port of and headed to Gaza. Latest word as of 7PM (Central) is that the ship is closing in on Gaza with expected arrival “early Monday.” Latest word via twitter at BateauGazaFr:

BateauGazaFr Frenchboat to Gaza still on the run. Everything is all right for now
35 minutes ago
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BateauGazaFrDignité Alkarama toujours en route. Tout est calme pour le moment.
37 minutes ago

Twitter comments from other sources report that a French Navy vessel is close to the location of the Dignite – the mentioned ship can be seen and tracked through this website. Whether the French Navy has and would act on a duty to protect is being raised.

Amira Hass of Haaretz journalist is one of three journalists on the boat and and filed this report:

SOMEWHERE IN THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN – On Saturday evening a Gaza-bound boat left Greek territorial waters. Its 10 participants regard themselves as representatives of the entire abortive flotilla to Gaza, and are determined to exhaust all possibilities in order to reach their destination, or at least carry out the symbolic act of protesting the blockade. They are well aware of the Lilliputian dimensions of their venture, compared with the massive impact organizers had initially planned to have with the 10-odd vessel flotilla…

Last Wednesday Karama left the port of Sitia in Crete, where it had been anchored for a week, awaiting the other boats in vain. Once it was clear that Greece, under strong Israeli pressure, would not allow those boats to sail, its remaining passengers ¬ three French nationals and one Tunisian ¬ were joined by three representatives of other delegations, a Greek, Swede and a Canadian, and by three more French activists who arrived from France. Also on board are three crew members and three journalists from Al Jazeera and Haaretz.

The website of the Swedish Flotilla ship is reporting that Al Jazeera attempted to get permission from Egypt, Greece and Cyprus to fly a helicopter to tract the Dignité Al Karama as it approaches Gaza but was permission was denied.

On board the Dignité Al Karama are:

  • Stéphane Corriveau (Campaign Canadian boat to Gaza),
  • Dror Feiler (Country Ship to Gaza-Sweden and European Jews for a Just Peace, composer – musician),
  • Jérôme Gleizes (Europe Ecology Green),
  • Jacqueline Le Corre (MD, Collectif 14 Support to the Palestinian people, PCF/french communist party),
  • Jean Claude Lefort (Honorary Member of french Parliament),
  • Claude Léostic (Spokesperson Campaign A French ship to Gaza – Association France/Palestine /Solidarity -AFPS) ,
  • Yamin Makri (Collectif 69 Support the Palestinian people),
  • Omeyya Naoufel Seddik (Tunisian Federation for citizenship on both sides- FTCR, political scientist),
  • Dr. Vangelis Pissias (Campaign Ship to Gaza Greece, Higher Institute of Technology professor Athens),
  • Thomas Sommer – Houdeville (Spokesperson Campaign A French ship to Gaza and Campagne Civile Internationale Pour la Protection du Peuple Palestinien – CCIPPP, associate researcher at the IFPO – Institut Français du Proche Orient),

The crew includes Yannick Voisin (captain), Jo Leguen (Navigator), and Hilary Folacci (Marin).

Three journalists are on board: Derradji Ayyash Al Jazeera journalist and Stéphane Guida, a cameraman for Al Jazeera, Amira Hass (Israeli journalist – Haaretz).

The activists on board have said :

Par sa taille, c’est le « petit poucet » de la Flottille mais le message de solidarité qu’il porte est immense : Its size is the “minnows” of the flotilla, but the message of solidarity he carries is immense:

Le blocus de Gaza doit être levé et le droit international respecté. The blockade of Gaza must be lifted and international law respected.

Il porte en outre les espoirs des milliers de citoyens dans le monde qui soutiennent la Flottille de la liberté II. It also carries the hopes of thousands of people worldwide who support the Freedom Flotilla II.

We’ll be following the news of the Dignité Al Karama tonight in this post and its comments. Without the live Turkish broadcast of last year, it’s very hard to track the new precisely so we’ll be relying on lots of sources including you. Please share reports you read as we track events together.

Siun

Siun

Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com

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