All 13 of the women on the Women’s Boat to Gaza are currently in the process of deportation after being captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and detained in a prison at Ashdod.
Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women stated that, “the deportation was much quicker than in prior flotillas.
While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception.”
According to early reports from the women released, the Zaytouna-Oliva was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats.
The IOF gave warning to the Zaytouna-Oliva to stop their course towards Gaza. When the warning was refused, at least 7 IOF members, both male and female, boarded the Zaytouna-Oliva and commandeered the sailboat.
This happened in international waters.
In the course of their capture, the women persisted in telling the IDF that Israel’s interception of their boat was illegal and that they were being taken against their will to Israel.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza campaign asserts that while the captivity of the women on board Zaytouna-Oliva is over, the captivity of 1. 9 million Palestinians in Gaza remains.
The Campaign also asserts that the term “peaceful” which has been used in some media to describe the capture is incorrect.
Peace is more than merely the absence of physical violence. Oppression, occupation, denial of human rights and taking a boat filled with nonviolent women against their will are not peaceful activities.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla Coalition will continue to sail until Palestine is free.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org