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Freedom Flotilla's MV Rachel Corrie Spotted Off Gaza CoastlineTim King Salem-News.com
IDF comes onto Twitter to confirm that the Rachel Corrie has not been boarded. This story is being continuously updated.
(SALEM, Ore.) - UPDATE 11:19: Israeli Defense Forces issue message: "Rachel Corrie has now rejected second call from IDF navy to dock at Ashdod Port."
Minutes prior to that, at 11:10 p.m. Pacific time, FreeGaza.org reported, "According to the IOF (Israeli Occupational Force), the boat was stopped in international waters six minutes and that it is legal".
Israeli Defense Forces have Twittered confirmation that the Rachel Corrie has not been boarded. The IDF says they want the Rachel Corrie to proceed to the port of Ashdod, Israel, but the activists aboard the remaining vessel dedicated toward breaking the siege of Gaza, say they will stay on course, for the port at Gaza.
Ben Wedeman of CNN reported around 10:06 p.m. west coast time via Twitter, that, "Through binoculars can see ship to Northwest with smaller vessels around it. Could be Rachel Corrie.
It was reported at 10:17 p.m. that Israeli naval activity in the Gaza port is more intense than usual, presumably in anticipation of the arrival of the Rachel Corrie.
We shouldn't expect something like this to be easy to keep up with; the MV Rachel Corrie is off the coast of Gaza, reports keep going back and forth about whether or not she has been seized, at this point we only know for certain that two Israeli naval vessels have intercepted the Rachel Corrie, there is no confirmation that she has been boarded.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
"Earlier in the night, boat co-sponsor ‘Perdana Global Peace Organization,’ a Malaysian NGO,
Of course the matter is of great concern, after 16 activists on the Mavi Marmara were gunned down by Israeli commandos. Israeli media has been spinning the story to make the highly trained military forces who boarded the vessel on the high seas in international waters, appear as victims.
In fact, Ivan Watson of CNN reported that autopsies of members of the Turkish Flotilla revealed that five died from bullet wounds to the head. A gun was reportedly fired between 2 and 14 centimeters from one victim's head.
Greta Berlin from FreeGaza.org reported earlier that the vessel Rachel Corrie, the last ship in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, is within site of the people of Gaza.
The ship is named for an American who was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer operator as she tried to prevent the wanton destruction of a Palestinian doctor's home.
All satellite communication reportedly went dark, according to Israeli Radio, but then dedicated phone lines came back to life. Now however, it is not clear what the status is.
MV Rachel Corrie carries many dignitaries, Israel knows the vessel carries no weapons, only the desire to break the illegal siege of Gaza that keeps Palestinians living in sub-human conditions.
Israeli Radio is reporting that the Rachel Corrie has been boarded, though passengers denied that was the case after those reports were issued, the crew saying they are being shadowed and followed by Israeli warships, but not boarded.
Now the waiting game continues, the last word from the crew was received around 9:00 p.m. Pacific time.
At 9:45 p.m. it was reported that repeated calls to the ship were going unanswered.
The Freedom Flotilla is unarmed, Israel is losing a large chance to show the world that it does have a heart, and its answer so far has been to kill peace activists with no agenda other than to say, "enough is enough".
The growing cry among Jewish people opposed to the mindless military occupation of Palestine is: "Not in My Name!"
Here is a video that was released when the MV Rachel Corrie was 150 miles off the Gaza coast:
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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