"Rachel Corrie" en route to Gaza; fears for the safety of her passengers.

Despite rumors to the contrary, passengers on the “Rachel Corrie,” one of the boats of the “Free Gaza” flotilla, have reported today that they are continuing to Gaza as planned.

Friday, 4 June, 2010 - 12:08
London, UK
YNet, Haaretz, Free Gaza, Adalah, PHR-Israel, others

The MV Rachel Corrie, carrying an Irish flag and Malaysian-funded is reportedly carrying five Irish and six Malaysian passengers including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former UN official Dennis Halliday, as well as a cargo of medical and other supplies such as paper to the beleaguered population of the Gaza Strip.

The crew on board reportedly includes a British national, two Cubans and six workers from the Philippines.

The boat is currently about 170 miles from Gaza’s coast now, in international waters, and aims to reach its destination later today or on Saturday morning.

Irish government officials have requested that Israel ensure safe passage for the boat, but both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann have declared that the boat “will not reach Gaza”

Israeli media channels reported earlier this morning that the boat may have changed course to return to Ireland, but passengers on the boat claim no such decision was made.

They also stress that no contact has been made with them by Israeli authorities.

Update on wounded, detainees still in Israel – as at noon today

Legal rights group Adalah, based in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel have reported that three injured passengers are still hospitalized at Rambam medical centre in Haifa today.

One of these, of Malaysian citizenship, has been visited by Jordanian and Turkish diplomats and his family informed. Another, in the Intensive Care Unit, has not yet been identified. A third patient is Turkish. All three seriously injured people have been declared fit to fly by medical teams.

In addition, according to PHR-Israel there is one wounded Turkish detainee in the Intensive Care Unit of Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tiqva, and another unidentified person in the Intensive Care Unit of Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Hashomer.

According to Israeli media a Turkish plane is set to land in Israel and take five wounded people Turkey later today.

Adalah has also received reports of three detainees still held in Israel for unspecified reasons and is trying to access information regarding this report.

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