Following Israel’s May 31 kidnapping of six ships in the Freedom Flotilla bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Irish ship, MV Rachel Corrie, continued its path towards Gaza. The ship, named after a US activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003, was carrying building materials, 20 tonnes of paper and other supplies Israel refuses to allow into the Gaza Strip, FreeGaza.org said on June 4.
FreeGaza.org reported on June 5: “Just before 9am GMT this morning, the Israeli military forcibly seized the Irish-owned humanitarian relief ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, from delivering over 1000 tons of medical and construction supplies to besieged Gaza.
“For the second time in less then a week, Israeli naval commandos stormed an unarmed aid ship, brutally taking its passengers hostage and towing the ship toward Ashdod port in Southern Israel.
“It is not yet known whether any of the Rachel Corrie's passengers were killed or injured during the attack, but they are believed to be unharmed."
The 20 people on board included a number of high-profile passengers, including Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire, former United Nations assistant secretary-general Denis Halliday, Malaysian parliamentarian Mohd Nizar bin Zakaria and a four-member media team crew Malaysian TV3.