Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 14

ISRAEL will stop at nothing to thwart the Free Gaza Movement.

And as our two-boat mission continues to head towards Cyprus there have been several attempts to undermine the heroic campaign to smash the siege of Gaza.

For instance, earlier this week someone fired a rocket at Israel from Gaza in defiance of the Hamas-brokered truce.

I can also tell you that whoever did fire the rocket into the Zionist State was also working for the Zionist State.

Yes, sadly, there are collaborators inside Gaza and the rocket firing was not only an attempt to wreck the cease-fire, it was a deliberate ploy to scupper the Free Gaza Movement which is gathering world attention and support.

As someone who has written about and studied the activities of intelligence agencies across the world for more than two decades, I can tell you that since the demise of the East German Stasi, there is no other spy agency as skilled at the art of black propaganda as Israel's Mossad.

And I see my conclusion is also shared by a senior leader in Hamas, Dr Mahmud Zahar, who has criticised the rocket attack from Gaza in violation of a seven-week-old calm.

He said: "I think those who are responsible are those who collaborate with Israel because there is a consensus by all Palestinian groups to respect the truce."

The rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an empty field outside the southern Israeli city of Sderot, causing no casualty or damage on Monday evening.

Speaking to Gaza radio station, Dr Zahar said whoever launched the rocket was "linked to Israel as they provide a pretext to exercise pressure on the Palestinian people."

And, of course, for every action there is a reaction by the Zionist State which uses such attacks to justify its vile actions. The following day Israel squeezed the immense pressure already exerted on the people of Gaza by closing the Nahal Oz crossing to Gaza Strip that is used to ferry in fuel and the Sufa passage for food deliveries to the impoverished and blockaded territory.

On his part, MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, strongly denounced the Israeli decision to close the crossings, stating that the Gaza commercial crossings are already paralyzed despite the calm.

In a press statement, Khudari underlined that the Gaza crossings especially Al-Mintar (Karni) crossing must remain open around the clock for more than a year in order to end the effects of the Israeli siege imposed on the Strip two years ago. The lawmaker also pointed out that Gaza needs more than 400 trucks laden with raw materials necessary for various industrial sectors.
Of course all this has given Israel yet another excuse to tighten its merciless grip on the world's largest open air prison, and firing the rocket has given the Israeli Navy a good excuse to try and stop our seaborne mission to smash the siege of Gaza using two boats - the SS Free Gaza and the SS Liberty.

Their efforts will, of course, be in vain because as regular readers of this blog know, the Free Gaza Movement activists are determined to let nothing stop them in their peaceful mission to reach the people of Gaza by sea.

We are not asking permission to enter Israel. We pose absolutely no threat to Israel. We just want to reach the beach on the Gaza Strip with messages of peace, goodwill and some hearing aids for all those Palestinian children with hearing problems caused by Israeli bombs.

Of course the collaborators who fired the rocket into Israel earlier this week have not helped our cause, but I wonder just what pressure the Zionist State put on them to do this destructive action.

I only say this because of a report released just a few days ago which revealed Israel's secret police are pressuring Palestinians in Gaza to spy on their community in exchange for urgent medical treatment.

The report was released by an Israeli human rights organisation. Physicians for Human Rights says the Shin Bet began interrogating Palestinian patients seeking permission to travel from Gaza to Israel for crucial medical help after Israel blockaded and then declared the tiny territory an enemy entity more than a year ago.

Typically, patients are taken to a small, windowless room, underground, beneath the security terminal at Erez, the only passenger crossing that remains open between Gaza and Israel, where they are questioned by Shin Bet agents for hours, the report says.

Refusal to cooperate often results in the denial of medical treatment. Based on the testimonies of more than 30 Palestinians - 11 of which are published - the report says the Shin Bet is using coercion and extortion to force patients to collaborate.

So you see, Israel's intelligence services are capable of anything and believe me, I could write much more on what they've tried to do to stop us but that can wait until another day.

In the meantime our focus is Gaza and getting there, insh'Allah.

* Yvonne Ridley and film-maker Aki Nawaz are on board the Free Gaza and the SS Liberty making a documentary for Press TV about the journey from the Greek islands to Cyprus and then on to Gaza.

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