The Irish Ship to Gaza
The Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign was established to maximise Irish participation in Freedom Flotilla 2. Its aim was to send a large Irish contingent - representing all elements of civil society - on an Irish ship to break the siege of Gaza.
To highlight and to work towards ending the siege of Gaza.
Despite Israeli propaganda, the Gaza Strip remains under siege and the humanitarian crisis is as bad as ever. The tiny coastal area that is home to 1.8 million Palestinians is effectively an open-air prison camp controlled by Israel. Those who comprise the Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign represent Irish people and organisations that aim to break this inhuman siege by being part of the Second Freedom Flotilla. We are fundraising to ensure that an Irish ship is among those that set out in early 2011 to break the illegal siege of Gaza.
Organisations involved in the Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign included the Free Gaza Movement, the Palestinian Rights Institute, Irish Anti-War Movement, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Derry Friends of Palestine, Trade Union Friends of Palestine and Ireland to Gaza.
The first Freedom Flotilla was violently attacked by Israel in an act of brazen piracy in international waters that left 9 human rights activists dead. This was an attempt by Israel to intimidate international activists – it was an attempt that failed. In fact, the killings led to global outrage and have strengthened our resolve to break the siege.
In November 2011, the MV Saoirse and the Tahrir sailed as part of the Freedom Waves initiative, post the thwarted Freedom Flotilla 2 attempt to break the siege of Gaza. Along with our colleagues on the Tahrir, 14 Irish citizens were expelled from Israel having been kidnapped in international waters by the Israeli navy and imprisoned for a week
Although the work of GAI is mostly based around our long-term projects with civil society, during Israel’s most recent murderous assault on Gaza, we organised many events in solidarity with the Palestinian people who were under attack. These included ‘die-ins’, protests to the Department of Foreign Affairs about Ireland’s shameful decision to abstain on a UN vote into war crimes committed in Gaza, and symbolic ‘sieges’ of the Israeli Embassy in Dublin.