Press Release 18 July 2011

Scottish Friends of Palestine welcomes the news in the following Press Release that, in the face of state sanctioned obstruction, and sabotage, one boat is finally on its way to the besieged Gaza Strip. We wish it bon voyage and look forward to the successful completion of its journey and the breaching the illegal and inhumane siege imposed upon over one and a half million Palestinian people.

We would urge the media, and politicians alike, to support their colleagues in this brave quest to challenge the illegal and inhumane actions of the Israeli state. We look forward to their safe return and would urge the media to place their honest endeavours under the same spotlight as that experienced by the Murdoch empire in recent weeks.

French boat Dignité of the Freedom Flotilla II leaves Greece

The French boat “Dignité/Karama” (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla’s ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.

The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters. It has now left– so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.

Among the delegates on board is Jacqueline Le Corre, member of the French Communist Party, Jean Claude Lefort, former French Member of the European Parliament, as well as representatives of the Canadian, French, Greek and Swedish initiatives within Freedom Flotilla II. Onboard the Dignité are also renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting for Haaretz, and a team from Al-Jazeera TV. (Full list of passengers below).

Kastellorizo, in the far east of the Greek archipelago, is only miles from Turkish mainland. A substantial part of Kastellorizo’s population fled during the Second World War to Gaza, where they stayed for years. The present mayor of the island, Paul Panigiris, was born in Gaza, and feels strongly, as do many other people from Kastellorizo, for a population that once hosted them and is now under siege.

The action of Dignité is not a mini-version of Freedom Flotilla 2, but a first wave that will be followed by others. It is a message to the Israeli government, to the international community and to the besieged people of Gaza: The Free Gaza Movement and the coalition of Freedom Flotilla II are not giving up, until the inhumane and illegitimate blockade of Gaza is lifted.

Gaza, we are coming!

And see Amira Hass’ report:

Passengers on the Dignité:

Stéphan Corriveau, Coordinator of Canadian boat to Gaza

Dror Feiler, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Sweden, President of the European Jews for a Just Peace, artist, musician, composer

Jérôme Gleizes, France, Europe Ecologie Les Verts

Jacqueline Le Corre, France, Médecin-Collectif 14 de soutien au peuple palestinien, member of Parti communiste francais

Jean Claude Lefort, former MEP, French Communist Party –PCF

Claude Léostic, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza

Yamin Makri, France, Collectif 69 de soutien au peuple palestinien

Omeyya Naoufel Seddik, Tunisian, Fédération des Tunisiens pour une citoyenneté des deux rives (FTCR), and Ligue tunisienne des Droits de l’Homme (LTDH), Phd in Political Science

Thomas Sommer-Houdeville, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza, Researcher, Political Sciecnce, Middle East Studies, Institut francais du proche Orient

Vangelis Pissias, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Greece, Professor at Technical University of Athens

Amira Hass, Israeli journalist – Haaretz

Ayyache Derradji, Journalist from Al Jazeera

Stéphane Guida, Cameraman from Al Jazeera

Zacharia Stylianakis, Captain

Hilaire Folacci, Mariner

Yannick Voisin, Mariner

Jo Leguen, Navigator



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