We are heart-sick and outraged about the brutal attack launched by the Israeli Military on the Free Gaza Movement’s flotilla of boats in the early morning hours (Eastern Mediterranean time), Monday, May 31. The boats were carrying civilian passengers and humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, and were clearly in international waters when this illegal attack occurred, in violation of international law.
The number of dead and injured are still unconfirmed, but lowest figures reported are 9 killed and 34 injured. The Israeli Government has still not released their names. Over 700 citizens from nearly forty countries were on board the flotilla vessels.
We grieve for those who have been killed and pray for the recovery of those who have been injured. We salute them for their sacrifice in solidarity with Gazans suffering under a prolonged and immoral siege, which is itself a despicable and illegal act of collective punishment upon a civilian population. People on board the flotilla boats included human rights activists, journalists, public servants, and Palestinians hoping to reunite with family members. Some of those on board, we know personally. We continue to marvel at the courage, dedication, and moral clarity of all these activists. Like our daughter Rachel Corrie, they were coming to the aid of the people of Gaza because governments of the world have failed to act. Our hearts, go out,as well, to the families and friends of all those on board the flotilla vessels, many of whom may still not know the fate of their loved ones.
We call on the U.S. Government and governments of the world to act now. First, the well-being of all the flotilla passengers still in Israel must be secured, and the identities of those killed and injured must be released immediately. Second, governments around the world must demand an independent investigation into the attack upon the flotilla and the killings that occurred. An Israeli-led investigation into an international incident of this magnitude is unacceptable. Our family’s own experience has made it all too painfully clear that the Israeli military is unable or unwilling to adequately investigate itself. Third, the U.S. and other governments can and must insist that other boats from the flotilla, including the MV Rachel Corrie, named for our daughter, be permitted to sail through international waters to Gaza unobstructed. Finally, we demand that the governments of the world act as courageously as did the activists on the Free Gaza flotilla and, themselves, break the illegal and immoral siege of Gaza.
Cindy & Craig Corrie
Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice
Available for interview.
Please contact the Rachel Corrie Foundation
info [ at ] rachelcorriefoundation.org
360.754.3998 or 360-359-6790