ISM Boat Tours Sea Near Gaza
A small boat carrying 10 activists accompanies Gaza fishing boats 'to make sure Navy doesn't abuse them.'
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/21/2011, 10:29 PM / Last Update: 4/21/2011, 10:24 PM
Unfazed by the brutal murder of their colleague Vittorio Arrigoni, members of the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza continue to defend Gazan Arabs from what they perceive as Israeli oppression.
A small boat, the Olivia, left the Gaza port Tuesday with about ten activists on board, some Arabs and others foreigners. Their stated mission was "to make sure" that the Israel Navy does not "abuse" Gaza fishing vessels.
The Navy, which has had some particularly nasty experiences with pro-Gaza "peace" activists, was concerned that the leftists on the boat would try to approach Navy vessels enforcing a maritime closure on Gaza, to make sure no weapons are smuggled into it.
The boat did not come near the Israeli military boats, however, and eventually returned to port in Gaza. The activists promised to continue to accompany fishing boats "and document incidents of gunfire and breaches of rights."
Howeida Arraf, a senior ISM member, said that the ISM has no intention of confronting the Navy.
Vittorio Arrigoni was found dead a few days ago after he was abducted, beaten and slain by one of the terror groups that thrive in Gaza. The ISM blamed Israel.