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October 19, 2012

Israeli Envoy calls "Estelle" a Provocation While 7 Parliamentarians Sail to Break the Blockade of Gaza

By Ann Wright

Seven parliamentarians from five European countries are on sailing on the sloop "Estelle" to break the Israeli Blockade of Gaza. Among the 20+ passengers are parliamentarians from Greece, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and a retired parliamentarian from Canada. The "Estelle" is expected to reach Gaza by this weekend.

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Calling the latest sailing of a boat to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza a "provocation," Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor, called on the UN Secretary-General, the Security Council, and all responsible members of the international community to take immediate action to end this provocation." 

Prosor added, "I want to stress that Israel is not interested in confrontation, but remains determined to enforce its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip -- and will take all lawful actions to this end. Their clear provocation raises tensions and could easily spark a serious escalation of the conflict." 

Seven parliamentarians from five European countries are on sailing on the sloop "Estelle" to break the Israeli Blockade of Gaza. Among the 20+ passengers are parliamentarians from Greece, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and a retired parliamentarian from Canada. 

More than 80 Irish Parliamentarians have signed a petition of support for the "Estelle's" mission, and 70 Greek Parliamentarians have also signed their petition.

Passengers from Canada, Finland, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden are on the "Estelle."

All those onboard are peaceful civilians who have received refresher non-violence training. 

The "Estelle" carries a cargo of aid to the Israeli blockaded Palestinian population of Gaza, and a cargo of solidarity.  It also carries an anchor and communication equipment needed for the construction of Gaza's Ark (see www.gazaark.org). 

The "Estelle" is expected to reach Gaza by this weekend.



Submitters Website: www.voicesofconscience.com

Submitters Bio:
Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand people during the civil war in Sierra Leone. She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Wright was also a passenger on the Challenger 1, which along with the Mavi Marmara, was part of the Gaza flotilla. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December, 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the co-author of the book "Dissent: Voices of Conscience." She has written frequently on rape in the military.

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