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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Ship Carrying Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Seized by Israel
04 Jul 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Ship Carrying Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Seized by Israel

Interview with Caoimhe Butterly, an Irish solidarity activist, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

On June 30, an unarmed boat, named "Spirit of Humanity," carrying 21 international peace activists was seized in international waters by the Israeli Navy, as it attempted to sail from Cypress to Gaza with relief supplies and messages of solidarity for Palestinians living in Gaza. Israel says the boat had been boarded for security reasons in the area of the blockade, after it had entered into Gaza's coastal waters. According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released June 29, the Palestinians living in Gaza are "trapped in despair." Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed during Israel's December/January invasion and air attacks are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in international aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building materials into Gaza. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel's disruption of medical supplies.

Since August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement has organized eight sea missions, successfully landing in Gaza on five separate occasions. On two earlier voyages, Israeli Occupation Forces used violence to stop the ships, physically ramming and almost sinking the boat named "Dignity," in December 2008, and threatening to fire on and kill unarmed passengers in January.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Caoimhe Butterly, an Irish solidarity activist who was on board one of the boats last fall that arrived successfully in Gaza. She spent most of the next several months there, and was in Gaza during part of the Israeli winter offensive and served on the support team from Cypress for this most recent voyage of the Spirit of Humanity, whose passengers included former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire. Butterly explains exactly what happened in the June 30 seizure.

For more information, and ways to contact Israeli officials responsible for the boat seizure, visit the group's website at www.freegaza.org.

Real Audio:
http://btlonline.org/2009/ram/butterly071009.ram

MP3:
http://btlonline.org/2009/mp3/butterly071009.mp3

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:

RealAudio:
http://btlonline.org/2009/ram/btl0070309.ram

DOWNLOAD the MP3 by visiting:
http://btlonline.org/download

VIEW the Between the Lines website by clicking on the link below:
http://www.btlonline.org

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net
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betweenthelines (at) snet.net
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
See also:
http://www.btlonline.org
http://www.btlonline.org

This work is in the public domain
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