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Israeli warships on Sunday intercepted the Al Awda, a Norwegian-flagged activist boat trying to break its more than decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip

Israeli warships on Sunday intercepted the Al Awda, a Norwegian-flagged activist boat trying to break its more than decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip

Israeli Navy Hijacks 'Freedom Flotilla' Attempting to Break Gaza Blockade

Activist boat carrying 22 people from 16 different countries in protest against Israel's decade-long blockade

Common Dreams staff

Israeli warships on Sunday intercepted a Norwegian-flagged activist boat trying to break its more than decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military and activists said.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition ship is named Al Awda (The Return) to underline the importance of this long-standing demand of Palestinians for the right to return to the lands they have been expelled from.

Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007. It says the blockade is in place in order to prevent weapons from entering the Gaza Strip.  Activists point to worsening humanitarian conditions in Gaza and say the blockade amounts to collective punishment of the two million Palestinians living there.

Following Al Awda was a Swedish-flagged yacht called Freedom Italy, with 36 activists from 15 different countries, said Zaher Birawi, head of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza.

“The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on the Norwegian Government, the national governments of those aboard Al Awda and the Freedom [Flotilla], other national governments, and relevant international organizations to act immediately,” said Torstein Dahle of Ship to Gaza Norway, part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.

“The international community must assume its responsibilities and demand that Israeli authorities ensure the safety of those on board, the speedy delivery of our gifts to the Palestinian people in Gaza, an end to the illegal blockade of Gaza,  and to stop impeding our legal right of innocent passage to Gaza to deliver our gift of much-needed medical supplies.”

The international Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) is a grassroots people-to-people solidarity movement composed of campaigns and initiatives from all over the world working together to end the siege of Gaza. 

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition called on supporters to contact their governments to take action to protect them:

United Nations
His Excellency Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General
Web: (write message)
Twitter: @antonioguterres   @UN_Spokesperson

Australia – Chris Graham
The Hon Julie Bishop MP Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs – Tel: +61 8 9388 0288
Contact an MP or Senator – search here.
More information from our partner:

Canada – Larry Commodore
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tel: +1 613 9925234 Fax: +1 613 9969607
Constituency Office
344 Bloor Street West (Main Office) Suite 510 Toronto, Ontario M5S 3A7
Tel: +1 416 9281451 Fax: +1 416 9282377

France – Sarah Katz or
Ecrire à Présidence de la République:
Francois-Xavier Lauch:  et
Ahlem Gharbi:
Ministère des Affaires étrangères –   et
Ministère de l’Intérieur: stephane fratacci

Malaysia – Dr Mohd Afandi Salleh
The Hon. Dato’ Saifuddin Bin Abdullah – Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tel: +603 8887 (Ext : 4503)

New Zealand – Mike Treen
Rt Hon Winston Peters – Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tel: +64 4 439 8000
More information from our partner:

Norway – Arne Birger Heli, Gerd von der Lippe, Herman Reksten, Jan petter Hammervold, Jørgen Pederson
Foreign minister – Ine Eriksen Søreide
Tel: +47 2395 0000

Singapore – Jason Soo
Minister for Foreign Affairs – Dr Vivian BALAKRISHNAN
Email:  and
Tel: 1800 4768870 or +65 63798000 or +65 6379 8855
Fax: +65 6474 7885

Spain – Emilia Nacher, Lucía Mazarrasa
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Twitter: @SpainMFA
Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv
Twitter: @EmbEspTelAviv

Sweden – Charles Andreasson, Divina Levrini
Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden Prime minister’s office: Email:
Margot Wallström, Foreign Minister of Sweden Foreign Minister’s office
Email:  Press secretaries: Erik Wirkensjö +46 8405 1000 / +46 70317 6471
Pezhman Fivrin
Tel: +46 8405 5361
Jonas Sjöstedt, leader of the Left party in Sweden
Jessica Nordh, press secretary
+46 7307 62290 / +46 7062 00064

UK – Swee Chai Khoo (Dr Swee Ang)
Jeremy Hunt MP – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Tel: 01428 609416, +44 20 7008 1500
Alistair Burt MP – Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Tel: +44 207 219 8132
Jeremy Corbyn MP – Opposition Leader
Emily Thornberry MP – Shadow Foreign Secretary

US – Joe Meadors
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
Tel: +1 202 647 4000
Twitter: @SecPompeo  @StateDept

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