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Free Gaza Protesters Given Medals By Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh

August 25, 2008

Free Gaza Protesters Given Medals By Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh


August 25, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - - This weekend, 44 activists from 17 countries set sail from Cyprus intending to defy an Israeli blockade of Gaza, which has been in force since the Hamas terrorist movement took over control of the territory in June of 2007.

Seeking to prevent a PR victory for the protesters, the Israeli government has decided to let them in, with a foreign ministry spokesman explaining, "We tried not to play into their hands and be drawn into a provocation when they arrived, and will try to continue this policy when they leave." [source,]

Writing for the Israeli National News, David Bedein states:

"From their web site,, it is clear that the group was officially invited by the Hamas regime to make this trip. They have succeeded in their mission: to establish in Gaza an international support network for the next battle in the Hamas war on Israel." [source, ]

For their efforts the Free Gaza protesters, were "honored" by the terrorist leader. According to an email, they were invited, "to lunch with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh at his house inside the refugee camp," whereupon, "He placed a large medal around each of our necks and spoke to us about who we are, and we were able to respond." Additionally the protesters were notified that the residents of Gaza City would name a square after them, calling it "Free Gaza Square."

Under Hamas rule, Gaza's economy has been devastated, with over 70% unemployment and a constant shortage of basic goods and supplies. Should this boat protest prove to be an effective first step in the eventual lifting of the Israeli embargo, Hamas will soon find itself unconstrained, once again able to pursue its long-term goal, the destruction of the Jewish state.


MIM: A press release from the Free Gaza group with the names of the participants and people they will be taking out illegally. Among them are students who were denied visas due to terrorism connections.



For More Information, Please Contact:
(Gaza) Paul Larudee: +972 598 765 370
(Gaza) Huwaida Arraf: +972 599 130 426
(Cyprus) Osama Qashoo: +357 97 793 595 /
(Jerusalem) Angela Godfrey-Goldstein: +972 547 366 393 /

(GAZA CITY, 28 August 2008) - After having shattered the Israeli
blockade of Gaza earlier this week, the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty will
depart Gaza for Cyprus at 2pm today. Several Palestinians who have
previously been denied exit visas by Israel will join international
human rights workers on the journey. Among the Palestinians leaving are
Saed Mosleh, age 10, of Beit Hanoon, Gaza. Saed lost his leg due to an
Israeli tank shell and is leaving Gaza with his father to seek medical
treatment. Also on board are the Darwish family, who will finally be
reunited with their relatives in Cyprus.

"I can't believe we're finally able to leave for medical treatment,"
said Khaled Mosleh, Saed's father. "This is a miracle of God."

Nine international human rights workers will remain in Gaza to do
longer-term monitoring and accompaniment, and one, Dr. Bill Dienst of
Omak, Washington, will attempt to cross over into Israel later today via
the Erez crossing.

By freely traveling to Gaza, on Saturday, August 23rd, in two, small,
wooden boats, the Free Gaza Movement forced the Israeli government to
issue a fundamental policy change regarding their military and economic
blockade of Gaza. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign affairs publicly
announced that humanitarian and human rights missions to Gaza will no
longer be stopped or threatened by Israel. With the end of the Israeli
siege of Gaza, Palestinians should be free to exercise their rights
without fear of being stopped or killed by the Israeli military.

Yvonne Ridley, a journalist and member for the Free Gaza Movement,
summed up her experience in Gaza by saying, "I missed the start of the
Berlin Wall coming down by just a few days, but now I know how people
felt when they tore down those first few bricks. This has been a huge
victory of people over power."

Since the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement will not be entering
Israeli territorial waters, and since they will request an inspection
from both the Gaza Port Authority when they depart, and the Cypriot
authorities upon their return, they expect no interference on the part
of the Israeli authorities when they leave Gaza. By Israel's own
admission, it has no authority to inspect the boats or the passengers
when they leave Gaza.

With the collapse of the Israeli blockade, the Free Gaza Movement will
quickly return to Gaza with another delegation, and they would like to
encourage the United Nations, Arab League and international community to
organize similar human rights and humanitarian efforts. The Free Gaza
Movement will continue to work to ensure that safe passage between Gaza
and the outside world will remain free and open.

Maha M.S. Darwish, mother
Omar Darwish, age 5
Sami M.J. Darwish, age 14
Ayman M.J. Darwish, age 17
Tawfiq M.J. Darwish, age 18
Khaled Mosleh, father
Saed Mosleh, age 10

Greta Berlin, Los Angeles, USA
Nikolaos Bolos, Athens, Greece
Lauren Booth, London, UK
Maria del Mar, Vilanova i La Geltru, Spain
Musheir El Farra, Sheffield, UK
Eliza Ernshire, London, UK
Petros Giotis, Athens, Greece
Christos Giouanopoulos, Athens, Greece
Derek Graham, Ballina, Ireland
Mary Thompson-Hughes, Los Angeles & London
Fathi Jaoudi, Jendouba, Tunisia & London
Yiannis Karipidis, Komothnh, Greece
Giorgios Klontzas, St. Nicolaos, Greece
John Klusmire, Monterey, CA, USA
The Hon. Anastasios Kourakis, MP (representing Thessaloniki, Greece)
Dr. Paul Larudee, El Cerrito, CA, USA
Dr. Edith Lutz, Cologne, Germany
Theresa McDermott, Edinburgh, Scotland
Sr. Anne Montgomery, New York, USA
Aki Nawaz, Bradford, UK
Thomas Nelson, Welches, OR, USA
Peter Philips, New York, USA
Dr. Vaggelis Pissias, Athens, Greece
Panagiotis Politis, Volos, Greece
Yvonne Ridley, London, UK
David Schermerhorn, Deer Harbor, WA, USA
Huwaida Arraf Shapiro, Ramallah, Palestine
Courtney Sheetz, New York, USA
Kathy Sheetz, Woods Hole, MA, USA
Ren Tawil, Minneapolis, MN
Kathleen Wang, Diamond Bar, CA, USA

Vittorio Arrigoni, Bulciago, Italy
Georgios Karatzas, Pireas, Greece
Jenny Linnell, Totnes, UK
Andrew Muncie, Spean Bridge, Scotland
Ken O'Keefe, London, UK
Adam Qvist, Copenhagen, Denmark
Darlene Wallach, San Jose, CA, USA
Donna Wallach, San Jose, CA, USA

Police Arrest 'Free Gaza' Activist Prof. Halper

26 Av 5768, 27 August 08 08:03by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( Sderot police questioned and released Free Gaza boat protestor Prof. Jeff Halper Tuesday after he tried to return to Israel via Gaza, where he and 43 other pro-Arab activists landed two fishing boats on Saturday. Their expedition was aimed at breaking Israeli sovereignty over Gaza waters.

Halper, who immigrated to Israel after protesting against the Vietnam war in the United States in 1973, "was held for questioning," said Sderot Police Chief Shimon Nachmani, "and the decision whether to arrest him will be taken at the end of the probe."

The Ben Gurion University anthropology professor, the only Israeli among the two boatloads of activists, was arrested for violating the law prohibiting Israelis from entering Gaza.

Boats Deprived of Publicity
from The Foreign Ministry said it decided to allow the two boats to reach the shores of Gaza without Naval inference in order to deprive the activists of a confrontation that would be celebrated by international media. However, it added that the effects of the activists' intentions were to make terrorism legitimate.

Intelligence officials have reported several times that Hamas and other anti-Israeli gangs have used the open seas to smuggle terrorists, arms and explosions into Gaza, often using dinghies and rubber barrels.

The Free Gaza activists, except for Halper, are to leave Gaza on Thursday, and intend to take with them several Gaza residents, including students who were not permitted either by Israel or the United States to receive visas because of security clearance problems.

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