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gazaundersiege x benheineBy Rady Ananda

Former US Congress Member Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire continue to call WBAI-in-Exile, (the radio home of those who were banned-and-fired by new theocratic management at WBAI/Pacifica Radio), which is streaming their calls from the Israeli prison. WBAIX is also streaming the protests outside the Israeli Embassy in New York City. Audio of phone calls below, as well as an 8-minute video by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The ship, Spirit of Humanity, carrying McKinney, Maguire and 19 others, was seized on June 30th by Israeli forces when the group tried to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza. The 21 aid workers have been charged with ‘illegal entry’ to Israel despite that the entire world knows they intended to travel to Gaza. Before leaving Cyprus on the last leg of its journey, authorities inspected the Spirit for weapons, finding none, which they reported to Israel.

Yesterday, WBAIX released this You Tube statement by McKinney (Israeli Prisoner No. 88794):

Democracy Now! featured Maguire’s telephone statement yesterday:

Free Gaza reports that that the UN Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk, denounced the unlawful naval seizure:

“This Israeli action implements its cruel blockade of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits any form of collective punishment directed at an occupied people”, said the human rights expert.

Mr. Falk pointed to a recent report on the impact on health resulting from the two year blockade, issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC report), stressing that Israeli actions not only restrict such vital supplies as food, medicine, and fuel to bare subsistence levels, but has in unprecedented fashion, disallowed the entry to Gaza of building materials and spare parts needed for repairing some of the widespread damage caused by its attacks on the Strip that took place for 22 days starting on December 27, 2008.

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“Such a pattern of continuing blockade under these conditions amounts to such a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions as to constitute a continuing crime against humanity,” added the independent human rights expert.

Watch the ICRC’s new video, Gaza: Paying the Price:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbW10uFkMv0&hl=en&fs=1&%5D

View Free Gaza Live for continual updates and for a map of the route taken by the Spirit and where it was seized by Israeli forces. You can also receive Twitter updates at http://twitter.com/freegazaorg.

irish foreign affairs minister micheal martinOn Wednesday, Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minster Micheál Martin, called for the swift release of two Irish nationals currently detained in Israel following the June 30 seizure of the Spirit of Humanity, reports eircom.net:

“My immediate priority is ensuring the safety and welfare of Ms. Maguire and Mr. Graham and securing their release as soon as possible. I would also call upon the Israeli Government to ensure that the humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza being transported on the Spirit of Humanity are made available as soon as possible to the Palestinian authorities for distribution.”

The Irish news site also reports that the minister called the current Israeli blockade of Gaza “completely unacceptable” and called for all border crossings into the coastal salient to be opened to humanitarian and commercial traffic.

COTO recommends the 2007 film, Occupation 101, which reports that Jews and Arabs peacefully co-existed prior to Israel becoming a Jewish theocracy. Palestinian children speak of their lives today under Israeli occupation.

“Gaza needs your voice” image by Ben Heine.