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EXCLUSIVE: Photos from the Gaza aid boat intercepted by the IDF

The following are exclusive photos taken on board the Estelle, as the ship was sailing toward the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break Israel’s siege on the coastal territory. The Israeli navy took over the ship before it reached its destination, and arrested some twenty activists, among them three Israeli citizens.

Huge efforts were made by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office to curtail media coverage of the story. The ship was brought into the Ashdod Port after dark, more than ten hours after the Israeli forces took it over. Later that night, the Israeli citizens under arrest were brought to a police station through a back door, to prevent media from covering their arrival. The IDF spokesman told Israeli media there was no humanitarian aid on the boat, as claimed by activists, but refused to release documentation to support his claims.

The photos below shows the hours before the ship was intercepted, and minutes before the IDF takeover. The activists are seen releasing pigeons towards the Israeli forces. The last photo shows Israeli naval commandos advancing towards the ship, and we can assume that it was not possible to continue shooting afterwards. According to testimonies given by the arrested activists, IDF used taser guns during the takeover. All international activists were transferred to the custody of Israel immigration authorities.

The three Israeli aboard the boat were brought before an Ashkelon court on Sunday. The judge extended their custody until Tuesday, despite them not posing a threat. According to witnesses at the courthouse, the activists were charged with violating a legal order, violating the Disengagement Law, aiding the enemy and  incitement and sedition. After appealing the ruling, the activists will be summoned to a Be’er Sheva court on Monday at 8:30 a.m.

UPDATE: Most charges against the Israeli Estelle passengers have been unofficially dismissed by a Be’er Sheva judge. They were  released earlier today to house arrest until Tuesday, and are barred from approaching the border with Gaza.

An Israeli Navy boat approaches the Estelle as it attempts to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Pro-Palestinian activists aboard the SV Estelle watch as Israeli Navy boats approach.

Pro-Palestinian activists aboard the Estelle catch sight of approaching Israeli Navy boats off the coast of Gaza

Pro-Palestinian activists placing a dove into a cage. Some 30 doves were to be released as a symbolic act upon arriving in Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian activists hold a discussion aboard the Estelle boat.

Pro-Palestinian activists share a meal aboard the Estelle.

Read more: 
Activists set to launch new flotilla to break blockade of Gaza Strip
4 things Israel doesn’t want you to know about the Gaza blockade 
Government releases ‘Red Lines’ document detailing Gaza food restrictions 

 

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    COMMENTS

    1. Fathima

      I prayed fervently that this time the blockade would be broken. Cannot express my sorrow when I learnt of the apartheid state’s intervention once again. One day the blockade shall be broken and Gaza shall be free insha allah.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        See map of the region . Gaza/Egypt border .No blockade .
        Apartheid = Laws to say white and black have different benches to sit on , different toilets to use in public and at work . different buses in the whole country , good jobs reserved only for whites , different jails -white jails being better than black jails and the list goes on and on and on and…………
        Get your facts straight , and lose your hatred

        Reply to Comment
        • Fred

          It never fails! Whenever Israeli (jewish) actions or politics are criticized – it’s based on hate, hate, hate….according to the jews, that is…:)….

          What is it with jews and this hate thing…? It always happens.

          Fred

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            The whole hate thing does have a couple of minor historical precedents for the Jews, though I admit you really do need to study Jewish history in depth in order to find them.

            When people start throwing around entirely irrational accusations perhaps hate is the only way to explain it.

            Reply to Comment
        • Rsgengland, the crossing at Rafah is only open to pedestrians, not goods, and there are still heavy restrictions for travellers. You couldn’t just turn up at Rafah tomorrow and expect to be allowed through. The best chance is to have either a press pass or a letter of employment/invitation from an aid organization (an influential one), and even then entry isn’t guaranteed. I’m hoping to visit Gaza next summer and I’m wondering if I’ve left it too late to begin preparations. Anyway, this is irrelevant. Even if Rafah were fully operational, people should still be able to arrive in Gaza by sea.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            That is interesting. A couple of days ago Noam Chomsky seems to have gotten into Gaza even though he is banned from entering Israel. Given that there are no Israeli troops at the Rafah crossing, who is it that restricts the goods and people that are allowed entry?

            Reply to Comment
      • Jeff

        The very first boat that was sent in 2008 went all the way to Gaza. So technically the blockade was already broken and your prayers answered Fathima. I think form now one you should pray that the people who keep spending money on these boats actually spend it on some aid.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Fred

      I am glad there was no cement onboard. That could have been used to make mortar grenades as described by an Israeli military spokeswoman (she was very sexy) after the 2010-raid, as they are running out of sandy beaches in Gaza. Another thing: Those so-called “peace” pigeons can be contaminated with germs to destroy the Israeli orange crops. Beware!

      Fred

      Reply to Comment
      • lisa

        Really?? Do you honestly and truly believe that Fred? Or have you been sooooooooooooooooo brainwashed you no longer can see things straight. Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply to Comment
        • Fred

          Think…:)….

          Fred

          Reply to Comment
        • Fred

          Hi, Lisa – love you, too!

          Further, an undeclared source in Sweden has said that the hold of Estelle has within it some cages filled with rabies-infested rats. These should be opened in case of boarding. They would then use approx. 1 day to get through an outer cage. Rats are very difficult to keep from not getting ashore!

          Tell me, Lisa – are they running out of sandy beaches in Gaza?

          Fred

          Reply to Comment
          • lisa

            Fred…have you been watching too much Lost or something? Really?? I do shake my head in disbelief at this type of blatant blinkerdness as to what is happening in the world and all the conspiricy theories AGAINST Israel and that they do NOTHING wrong. Tell me Fred, what colour blood does a Palestinian bleed? What colour is your blood? Your genes may be closer that you will ever think! Please look outside your little box!

            Reply to Comment
          • Evan

            Lisa, fyi im pretty sure he was being sarcastic… and tirades about “bleeding the same color blood” is just cheesy and cliche, even if in this case I agree with your principles but you gotta be able to do better than that. Also, the mere fact that you could not recognize that he was being satirical and imediately went on the offensive should raise some red flags… dont mean to be rude but commmonnnnnnnnnnn. Thank you

            Reply to Comment
    3. Tomas

      They are no pro-palestinian, they are activists against the illegal jewish blockade against the Palestinian Gaza.

      That is a very big difference. And the cargo: Medical aid, among many other thing.
      Remember that Ship To Gaza told the UN that they were allowed to inspect M/V Estelle and the cargo anytime they wanted.
      This to make sure that they(of course) had no weapon on board.

      But UN keeps crawling on the floor infront of the jews of Palestine occupation. Endless shame!

      Reply to Comment
      • Palestinian

        They want to keep Gaza under their control ,to keep people isolated living in miserable conditions.If its about security (as they claim) there are several solutions but they wont allow it .

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          There is one (only one tho), very simple solution – accept the existence of the Jewish state.

          Reply to Comment
          • Fred

            Is the jewish state the subject here?

            Fred

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Of course it is the subject. The maritime blockade is in place to prevent heavy weapons from reaching Hamas because Hamas is committed to destroying Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            “The maritime blockade is in place to prevent heavy weapons from reaching Hamas because Hamas is committed to destroying Israel.”

            If they only want to prevent heavy weapons entering Gaza, why don’t they board the boats and search them, K9? And if the cargo turns out to be only footballs and bicycles for children, why not let the boats through?

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Because it is very difficult to properly search oceangoing vessels properly while at sea. Imagine large numbers of stacked containers. How precisely do you search them all without actually unloading the ship?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Yes, Fred.

            In this particular case – all Hamas have to do to immediately life all and any blockade is openly declare that it no longer seeks destruction of Israel.

            Reply to Comment
    4. BOOZ

      @Tomas:

      I just came across this sentence of yours :
      “But UN keeps crawling on the floor infront of the jews of Palestine occupation. “.

      You got to the point; They are too strong & influential for you to beat them, even if your kind would stage themselves as righteous activists defying seasickness to get themselves a life by lambasting the -ptouii! – j…Zionists.

      Take my advice: just quit, it’s no use.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tomas

        BOOZ: I know that You are right.

        Without a support from the World Community, there will be difficult, very difficult to succeed.

        However, Ship To Gaza put the finger on the fact that the world around is not intrested in the problems about Palestine.
        That is a very important reason with Ship To Gaza.
        The World Community does not deal with the occupation and the suffering……..still, there are people who will not accept this.

        No way.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Yes, thanks to this ship, the US and EU are putting together an intervention force that will break the maritime blockade of Gaza while simulatenously the 82nd airborne and the British paras are going to parachute over the West Bank to push out the IDF and ethnically cleanse 600,000 Jews from their homes.

          And all thanks to the symbolic caging of doves and a supposed cargo of soccer balls on a boat crewed by a group of politically marginal middle aged men who received a grand total of 3 minutes of fame before being unceremoniously deported back to the jobs they had hoped to forget for a while with their Med cruise. I think it was the doves that made the difference, though I do have some practical questions about where these free doves came from before they were caged in this touching and deeply heart-breaking ceremony.

          Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          “Without a support from the World Community, there will be difficult, very difficult to succeed.”
          Without Palestinians accepting the Jewish State it won’t be even remotely successful.

          “However, Ship To Gaza put the finger on the fact that the world around is not intrested in the problems about Palestine.”
          True.
          Care to know why?

          “The World Community does not deal with the occupation and the suffering……..still, there are people who will not accept this.

          No way.”

          1 – there is no occupation. By the letter of the law occupation only occurs when independent state A occupies independent state B.
          Palestinians refused statehood, thus they technically could not be occupied.
          Lebanon was occupied. Egypt was occupied. However “Palestine” is not “occupied”.

          2 – So your “World Community” now openly denies Jews right to have own state.
          Why am I not surprised?

          Reply to Comment
    5. Fred

      Came to think of it – those doves gave me a fantastic idea for future Ships To Gaza. What about loading them up with pigeons and releasing them outside the Gazan coast. Could contribute to a good dinner on many a Gazan dinner table…:-)…without being hijacked by the IDF.

      Fred

      Reply to Comment
    6. daniel

      How about some photos of the humanitarian aid that was supposed to be on the ship, and that the IDF claims wasn’t there at all?

      Reply to Comment
      • Fred

        If the IDF claims it wasn’t there, it surely cannot (have been) be there. The boat wasn’t in international water when hijacked, either. Just ask the IDF.

        Fred

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          The IDF doesn’t claim that the boat was not stopped in international waters. According to international maritime law it is legitimate to stop a ship in international waters that intends to breach a maritime blockade.

          Now where are the pictures of the aid that supposedly was on that ship?

          Reply to Comment
    7. Maya

      There were local elections today in the PA. Don’t 972magazine authors think that it is even worth mentioning? at all? Not even a link to a repost about it?

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        No Palestinians were oppressed. Who cares?

        Reply to Comment
    8. Philos

      Trolls to the left of me, trolls to the right, and I’m stuck here in the middle with you

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Philos,
        Being surrounded by trolls makes you troll, as being surrounded by fools makes one fool.

        Of wisdom’s dictates two are principal,
        Surpassing all your lore traditional;
        Better to fast than eat of every meat,
        Better to live alone than mate with all!

        Omar Khayyam

        Reply to Comment
    9. felicie rosenberg

      those people did not only provocation, but they are also very cruel. they took with them doves in cages to free them in Aza, where the poor birds did not have any orientation, but they did it even worse, when they were stoped by the Israelis they just freed them in open sea, so that they certainely had no chance to survive. So with all what they did, they proofed how cruel they are to use birds in such a bad and terrible way. I am disgusted how someone can do something like that. they are for peace? so why they just do the symbol of peace such a thing – they just did it for provokation and for fun to kill.

      Reply to Comment
    10. […] we have “activists” on board The Estelle imprisoning doves in a cage, before releasing them as a “symbolic […]

      Reply to Comment
    11. The Trespasser

      Israeli government did a great job of exhausting these “freedom flotillas”

      Not too difficult of a job tho – just unveil the hypocrisy of leadership and all misled will leave.

      Reply to Comment
    12. JerryBall

      Was this done in International Waters in violation of Maritime Laws?

      Reply to Comment
    13. martin kool

      maybe it is a better idea for them to go with busses to damascus ,

      Reply to Comment
    14. GB

      All of you western Jew haters, so called civil right activists, don’t forget that you’re living out there in your cozy, warm and loving country, and while you’re enjoying CNN/FOX/ABC news or whatever on your wide-screen TV while we’re living in cities like Sderot that are heavily bombed with artillery every day and live in a chaotic reality in which some Hammas/Jihad/Other guys slaughter kids while they’re asleep. Oh and some of our buses/malls/street markets get exploded with the intention to kill as many jews as possible.. Try living in Sderot for a week before succumbing to your “news reports” 7k miles away.

      Reply to Comment
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